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Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

American Dictionary
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Essence

ES'SENCE, noun [Latin essentia, esse, to be.]

1. That which constitutes the particular nature of a being or substance, or of a genus, and which distinguishes it from all others.

Mr. Locke makes a distinction between nominal essence and real essence The nominal essence for example, of gold, is that complex idea expressed by gold; the real essence is the constitution of its insensible parts, on which its properties depend, which is unknown to us.

The essence of God bears no relation to place.

2. Formal existence; that which makes any thing to be what it is; or rather, the peculiar nature of a thing; the very substance; as the essence of christianity.

3. Existence; the quality of being.

I could have resigned my very essence

4. A being; an existent person; as heavenly essences.

5. Species of being.

6. Constituent substance; as the pure essence of a spirit. [Locke's real essence supra.]

7. The predominant qualities or virtues of any plant or drug, extracted, refined or rectified from grosser matter; or more strictly, a volatile essential oil; as the essence of mint.

8. Perfume, odor, scent; or the volatile matter constituting perfume.

Nor let th' imprisoned essences exhale.

ES'SENCE, verb transitive To perfume; to scent.