Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: Latin essentia, from esse 'to be'


Related topics: Cooking
1 [singular] the most basic and important quality of something
essence of
The essence of Arsenal's style of football was speed.
She seems the very essence of kindness (=she seems very kind).

in essence

used when talking about the most basic and important part of something, especially an idea, belief, or argument:
In essence his message was very simple.
3 [uncountable and countable]DFC a liquid obtained from a plant, flower etc that has a very strong smell or taste and is used especially in cooking:
vanilla essence

something is of the essence

used to say that something is very important:
Good communications are of the essence to remain competitive.
time/speed is of the essence (=it is very important to do something quickly)

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