Webster 1913 Edition
The constituent elementary notions which constitute a complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it; sometimes called the nominal essence.
The constituent quality or qualities which belong to any object, or class of objects, or on which they depend for being what they are (distinguished as real essence); the real being, divested of all logical accidents; that quality which constitutes or marks the true nature of anything; distinctive character; hence, virtue or quality of a thing, separated from its grosser parts.
The laws are at present, both in form and
essence, the greatest curse that society labors under.
Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the
essenceof this virtue [charity].
essenceof Addison’s humor is irony.
And uncompounded is their
A being; esp., a purely spiritual being.
As far as gods and heavenly
He had been indulging in fanciful speculations on spiritual
essences, until . . . he had and ideal world of his own around him.
The predominant qualities or virtues of a plant or drug, extracted and refined from grosser matter; or, more strictly, the solution in spirits of wine of a volatile or essential oil;
essenceof mint, and the like
The . . . word
essence. . . scarcely underwent a more complete transformation when from being the abstract of the verb “to be,” it came to denote something sufficiently concrete to be inclosed in a glass bottle.
J. S. Mill.
Perfume; odor; scent; or the volatile matter constituting perfume.
Nor let the
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To perfume; to scent.“Essenced fops.”
Webster 1828 Edition
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.