essence - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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essence

noun uk   us   /ˈes.əns/

essence noun (IMPORTANCE)

C2 [S or U] the basic or most important idea or quality of something: The essence of his argument was that education should continue throughout life. Yet change is the very essence of life.in essence C2 formal relating to the most important characteristics or ideas of something: In essence, both sides agree on the issue.be of the essence formal to be the most important thing: In any of these discussions, of course, honesty is of the essence. Time is of the essence.
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essence noun (SMELL/TASTE)

[C or U] a strong liquid, usually from a plant or flower, that is used to add a flavour or smell to something: vanilla essence essence of violets
(Definition of essence from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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