Definitions for essenceˈɛs əns

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word essence

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

es•senceˈɛs əns(n.)

  1. the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing; substance.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  2. a concentrated substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc.

  3. an alcoholic solution of an essential oil; spirit.

  4. a perfume; scent.

  5. (in philosophy) the true nature or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc.

    Category: Philosphy

  6. something that exists, esp. a spiritual or immaterial entity.

    Category: Religion, Common Vocabulary

Idioms for essence:

  1. in essence,essentially; basically.

    Category: Idiom

  2. of the essence,absolutely essential; crucial.

    Category: Idiom

Origin of essence:

1350–1400; ME essencia < ML, for L essentia, irreg. der. of esse to be

Princeton's WordNet

  1. kernel, substance, core, center, centre, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty(noun)

    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

    "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story"

  2. essence(noun)

    any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted

  3. effect, essence, burden, core, gist(noun)

    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work

  4. perfume, essence(noun)

    a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. essence(noun)ˈɛs əns

    the central and unique identity of sth

    a song that expresses the essence of the band's music


  1. essence(Noun)

    The inherent nature of a thing or idea.

  2. essence(Noun)

    A significant feature of something.

  3. essence(Noun)

    The concentrated form of a plant or drug obtained through a distillation process.

  4. essence(Noun)

    Fragrance, a perfume.

  5. essence(Noun)

    The true nature of anything, not accidental or illusory.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Essence(noun)

    the constituent elementary notions which constitute a complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it; sometimes called the nominal essence

  2. Essence(noun)

    the constituent quality or qualities which belong to any object, or class of objects, or on which they depend for being what they are (distinguished as real essence); the real being, divested of all logical accidents; that quality which constitutes or marks the true nature of anything; distinctive character; hence, virtue or quality of a thing, separated from its grosser parts

  3. Essence(noun)

    constituent substance

  4. Essence(noun)

    a being; esp., a purely spiritual being

  5. Essence(noun)

    the predominant qualities or virtues of a plant or drug, extracted and refined from grosser matter; or, more strictly, the solution in spirits of wine of a volatile or essential oil; as, the essence of mint, and the like

  6. Essence(noun)

    perfume; odor; scent; or the volatile matter constituting perfume

  7. Essence(verb)

    to perfume; to scent


  1. Essence

    In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the entity or substance has contingently, without which the substance can still retain its identity. The concept originates with Aristotle, who used the Greek expression to ti ên einai, literally 'the what it was to be', or sometimes the shorter phrase to ti esti, literally 'the what it is,' for the same idea. This phrase presented such difficulties for his Latin translators that they coined the word essentia to represent the whole expression. For Aristotle and his scholastic followers the notion of essence is closely linked to that of definition. In the history of western thought, essence has often served as a vehicle for doctrines that tend to individuate different forms of existence as well as different identity conditions for objects and properties; in this eminently logical meaning, the concept has given a strong theoretical and common-sense basis to the whole family of logical theories based on the "possible worlds" analogy set up by Leibniz and developed in the intensional logic from Carnap to Kripke, which was later challenged by "extensionalist" philosophers such as Quine.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'essence' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4832

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'essence' in Nouns Frequency: #1879

Anagrams of essence

  1. senesce

Translations for essence

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the most important part or quality

Tolerance is the essence of friendship.

Get even more translations for essence »


Find a translation for the essence definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these essence definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"essence." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for essence?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for essence: