essence - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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essence

noun  us   /ˈes·əns/

essence noun (IMPORTANCE)

[U] the basic meaning or importance of something: The essence of punk was a revolt against both the sound and the system of popular music.in essence In essence means that what follows is a brief statement of the basic meaning of something: In essence, she’s saying that she may quit her job.

essence noun (SMELL/TASTE)

[C] a chemical substance obtained from plants that has a strong smell or taste and can be used to flavor foods or provide a pleasant smell, such as in perfumes
(Definition of essence from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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