Quintessential (adjective)

  1. Being the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.
  2. Being the essence or most essential element of something.


From the latin quinta essentia, literally meaning "fifth essence", from the aristotelian notion of the five elements (earth, air, fire, water, and ether) that make up all things.


  1. He is the quintessential gentleman.
  2. The little black dress is the quintessential item in a woman's wardrobe.
  3. The Mona Lisa is the quintessential painting of the Renaissance.
  4. The book is the quintessential guide to the subject.
  5. The movie is the quintessential example of the genre.
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