Part of speech: noun

A concentrated extract; the most essential part of anything.

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Usage examples "quintessence":

  1. When the blockade was to be declared, Mr. Seward seems to have been a thorough novice in the whole matter, and in an official interview with Lord Lyons, Mr. Seward was assisted by his chief clerk, who was therefore the quintessence of the wisdom of the foreign affairs, a man not even mastering the red- tape traditions of the department, without any genuine instruction, without ideas. - "Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862", Adam Gurowski.
  2. It is distilled in the great ice- clasped seas of the North, and the pine and balsam of snowy woods add their quintessence to it; it tickles no palate but is assimilated directly into the blood of the brave and strong; it is the wine of youth, of perpetual youth. - "The Main Chance", Meredith Nicholson.
  3. And I would have you know that this same desire is the quintessence which is inseparable from nature, and that man is the model of the world. - "Thoughts on Art and Life", Leonardo da Vinci.