- the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies
- the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form
- the most typical example or representative
(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 6 May 2020)
Use it in a sentence
The rotting banana reeked of sweet sweat and congealed blood. Not that she knew what that smelt like. The banana only resembled that fruit – blackened and squashed, covered in a spattering of ecstatic flies. ‘Blurgh,’ she thought. It was the quintessence of decay, of rot. She peered a little closer and gave it a gentle shove with her shoe. The flies reeled back, disturbed, but quickly settled down again. How did so many of them get into the house?
That cretin of an ex-boyfriend left this mess right in the middle of their kitchen – squashed it right into the floorboards with the heel of his boot, knowing she was going away for two weeks. She broke up with him the night before, thinking it was for the best – a civil, clean break, and forced separation. But he left this calling card, cleared out his stuff (and some of hers), and left the key on the table (at least that). Her eyes narrowed, and she brushed the hair off the back of her neck, her skin crawling.
He knew bananas made her gag.