the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, esp. something abstract, that determines its character: conflict is the essence of drama.
• Philosophy a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.
• an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.
in essence basically and without regard for peripheral details; fundamentally: in detail the class system is complex but in essence it is simple.
of the essence critically important: time will be of the essence.
ORIGIN late Middle English: via Old French from Latin essentia, from esse ‘be.’