ES'SENCE, n. [L. essentia, esse, to be.]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.
ES'SENCE, v.t. To perfume; to scent.