Down to the Wire: Just $8,038 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ESSENCE

What a thing is. The internal principle whereby a thing is what it is and not something else. Sometimes essence is said to be the same thing as being, but being merely, affirming that a thing is, without specifying its perfections. Essence is not quite the same as nature, which adds to essence the notion of activity, i.e., nature is the essence in action. Or again essence is substance, but not all essences are substantial because accidents also have an essence. (Etym. Latin essentia, essence, being.)

See Also: QUIDDITY

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 8 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 11 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 15 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said 17 hours ago
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - 19 hours ago