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4 definitions found
 for quintessence
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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 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.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Hence: An extract from anything, containing its rarest
        virtue, or most subtle and essential constituent in a
        small quantity; pure or concentrated essence.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Let there be light, said God; and forthwith light
              Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
              Sprung from the deep.                 --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. The most characteristic form or most perfect example of
        some type of object.
        [PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  quintessence
      n 1: the fifth and highest element after air and earth and fire
           and water; was believed to be the substance composing all
           heavenly bodies [syn: quintessence, ether]
      2: the purest and most concentrated essence of something
      3: the most typical example or representative of a type

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  88 Moby Thesaurus words for "quintessence":
     archetype, axiom, beau ideal, bottom, center, champion, choice,
     chosen, classic, concentrate, concentration, core, cream,
     decoction, distillate, distillation, elect, elite, elixir,
     embodiment, epitome, essence, essential, essentiality, exemplar,
     extract, extraction, fabric, fat, flower, focus, fundamental, gist,
     gravamen, heart, hypostasis, ideal, infusion, inner essence,
     kernel, last word, marrow, masterpiece, masterwork, material,
     matter, meat, medium, mirror, model, nonesuch, nonpareil, nub,
     nucleus, nuts and bolts, optimum, paragon, pattern of perfection,
     personification, pick, pith, postulate, prime, principle, prize,
     prototype, purification, queen, quid, quiddity, quintessential,
     refinement, sap, select, soul, spirit, stuff, substance,
     sum and substance, superlative, the best, the best ever,
     the nitty-gritty, the tops, the very best, ultimate, very model,
     virtuality
  
  

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