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Pronunciation:  kwin'tesuns

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  the most typical example or representative of a type
  2. [n]  the purest and most concentrated essence of something
  3. [n]  (archaic) the fifth and highest element after air and earth and fire and water; was believed to be the substance composing all heavenly bodies

QUINTESSENCE is a 12 letter word that starts with Q.


 Synonyms: ether
 See Also: center, core, element, essence, example, gist, heart, heart and soul, illustration, instance, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, pith, representative, substance, sum



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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.]
    Note: The ancient Greeks recognized four elements, fire, air,
          water, and earth. The Pythagoreans added a fifth and
          called it nether, the fifth essence, which they said
          flew upward at creation and out of it the stars were
          made. The alchemists sometimes considered alcohol, or
          the ferment oils, as the fifth essence.
    2. Hence: An extract from anything, containing its rarest
       virtue, or most subtle and essential constituent in a
       small quantity; pure or concentrated essence.
             Let there be light, said God; and forthwith light
             Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung
             from the deep.                        --Milton.
  2. \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.