- 1The most perfect or typical example of a quality or class: he was the quintessence of political professionalismMore example sentences
- Previously I was playing a beautiful prelude in C sharp minor op. 45 by Chopin, a piece that is the quintessence of healing compassion, so my heart was full and my spirit was ready to heal.
- Euro 2004 has begun on the right note, as a quintessence of football skills.
- A commentary on the website of CBS, the nearest equivalent to the BBC for serious news in the US, summed up: ‘Diana was the quintessence of cool’.
- 1.1The aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central constituent of its character: we were all brought up to believe that advertising is the quintessence of marketingMore example sentences
- Played in its unadulterated form the venerable, patriotic tune has a divine character: Cameron managed to capture the quintessence of the song.
- It pronounces: ‘the constant endeavour to achieve a balance between bodily and mental health was the quintessence of the Greek spirit’.
- The Authorized Version became the quintessence of Englishness and an index of human character.
- 1.2A refined essence or extract of a substance.More example sentences
- Mercury was believed to possess magical properties and some regarded it as the quintessence of the human body and of all substances.
- Some chemists now turned less to distilled quintessences and more to precipitates and residues in their search for new remedies.
- 1.3(In classical and medieval philosophy) a fifth substance in addition to the four elements, thought to compose the heavenly bodies and to be latent in all things.More example sentences
- Beyond the four elements, everything consisted of a fifth substance, the quintessence, which unlike them was not subject to any kind of change except locomotion, uniformly and in perfect circles.
- In ancient philosophy, quintessence was believed to be the stuff of heavenly bodies, which Aristotle credited as divine, alive and intelligent.
- The quintessence permeates the compost, soil and plants like astral perfume, and affects plant growth with subtle yet powerful forces of the cosmos.
late Middle English (as a term in philosophy): via French from medieval Latin quinta essentia 'fifth essence'.