quintessence


quintessence
quintessence (n.) early 15c., in ancient and medieval philosophy, "pure essence, substance of which the heavenly bodies are composed," lit. "fifth essence," from M.Fr. quinte essence (14c.), from M.L. quinta essentia, from L. quinta, fem. of quintus "fifth" (see QUINQUE- (Cf. quinque-)) + essentia (see ESSENCE (Cf. essence)). Loan-translation of Gk. pempte ousia, the "ether" added by Aristotle to the four known elements (water, earth, fire, air) and said to permeate all things. Its extraction was one of the chief goals of alchemy. Sense of "purest essence" (of a situation, character, etc.) is first recorded 1580s.

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  • quintessence — [ kɛ̃tesɑ̃s ] n. f. • quinte essence v. 1265; lat. scolast. quinta essentia, trad. gr. pemptê ousia « cinquième essence » 1 ♦ Philos. anc. Cinquième élément (l éther) ajouté aux quatre éléments d Empédocle. ♢ Alchim. Qualité pure, principe… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • quintessence — Quintessence. s. f. Le plus pur, le plus subtil qui se tire des substances corporelles, par le feu, ou autrement. Les Chymistes jusqu à present n ont pû tirer la quintessence de l or. Il signifie figur. Ce qu il y a de principal, de plus fin, de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Quintessence — Quin*tes sence, v. t. To distil or extract as a quintessence; to reduce to a quintessence. [R.] Stirling. Truth quintessenced and raised to the highest power. J. A. Symonds. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quintessence — Quin*tes sence, n. [F., fr. L. quinta essentia fifth essence. See {Quint}, and {Essence}.] 1. The fifth or last and highest essence or power in a natural body. See {Ferment oils}, under {Ferment}. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Note: The ancient Greeks… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quintessence — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Progressive Rock Gründung 1969 Auflösung 1980 (?) Website …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • quintessence — I noun acme, acme of perfection, center, character, characteristic, consequence, consummation, content, core, cornerstone, corpus, culmination, distilled essence, elixir, essence, essentialness, essential part, gist, heart, height, kernel,… …   Law dictionary

  • quintessence — [n] essence, core apotheosis, bottom, distillation, epitome, essentiality, extract, gist, heart, kernel, last word, lifeblood, marrow, pith, quiddity, soul, spirit, stuff, substance, ultimate, virtuality; concepts 682,826 Ant. extra …   New thesaurus

  • quintessence — ► NOUN 1) the most perfect or typical example or embodiment of a quality or type. 2) a refined essence or extract of a substance. ORIGIN from Latin quinta essentia fifth essence , from the belief in ancient philosophy that a fifth substance… …   English terms dictionary

  • quintessence — [kwin tes′əns] n. [ME quyntencense < MFr quinte essence < ML quinta essentia] 1. in ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth essence, or ultimate substance, of which the heavenly bodies were thought to be composed: distinguished from the… …   English World dictionary

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