Essence is whatever most sums up the heart and soul of something, its truest most indispensable qualities. The essence of Las Vegas is poker chips and dreams; the essence of Johnny Cash is black clothing and country music.

Essence can be a physical detail, or, just as commonly, the abstract idea or meaning of something. The essence of Lady Chatterly's Lover might be its revolutionary eroticism, or the essence of religion its devotion to God. Essence can also mean the concentrate obtained from a flower or plant for flavoring. If you've chewed strawberry-flavored bubblegum you're probably amazed at how it truly is the very essence of strawberries.

Definitions of essence
  1. noun
    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
    synonyms: center, centre, core, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, pith, substance, sum
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    bare bones
    (plural) the most basic facts or elements
    (metaphysics) essential nature or underlying reality
    haecceity, quiddity
    the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and makes it different from any other
    distillation, quintessence
    the purest and most concentrated essence of something
    a critically important or characteristic component
    type of:
    cognitive content, content, mental object
    the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
  2. noun
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    synonyms: burden, core, effect, gist
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    type of:
    import, meaning, significance, signification
    the message that is intended or expressed or signified
  3. noun
    any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted
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    type of:
    the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists
  4. noun
    a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor
    synonyms: perfume
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    cologne, cologne water, eau de cologne
    a perfumed liquid made of essential oils and alcohol
    pachouli, patchouli, patchouly
    a heavy perfume made from the patchouli plant
    perfumes in general
    a jar of mixed flower petals and spices used as perfume
    rose water
    perfume consisting of water scented with oil of roses
    eau de toilette, toilet water
    a perfumed liquid lighter than cologne
    type of:
    toilet articles, toiletry
    artifacts used in making your toilet (washing and taking care of your body)
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