A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
A being whose essence requires that it exist in itself. It is an ens per se (a being by itself) or ens in se (a being in itself). It is commonly distinguished from an accident, whose essence is to exist in another, that is, in a substance. (Etym. Latin substantia, that which stands under, principle, foundation.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.