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These stories were viewed as quintessential—as defining, in some way—and every family member, including Stem’s three-year-old, had heard them told and retold and embroidered and conjectured upon any number of times.
Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  representing the perfect example of a class or quality
 Mark word for later review on this computer
quintessential quintessence quintessentially
The word is most commonly used as an adjective. In the noun form (quintessence) it is typically used in the context of chemistry and represents the purest and most concentrated essence of something.

In ancient and medieval philosophy, the noun referred to the fifth and highest element after air, earth, fire and water. It was believed that the heavenly bodies were composed of quintessence.
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  • These stories were viewed as quintessential—as defining, in some way—and every family member, including Stem’s three-year-old, had heard them told and retold and embroidered and conjectured upon any number of times.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • Ted was also the quintessential outdoorsman.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • That "avatar," of course, was quintessential Faulkner, and I was so tickled at the way she used the word, and by her restored beauty, that I found myself disgorging loud coarse cackles of laugher.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • It’s the quintessential Toronto middle-class-matron put-down, the ultimate disapproval.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye

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  • He was so perfectly the quintessential man of law that I couldn’t look at him without smiling.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • He has behaved like the quintessential ugly Afghan-American, Idris thinks.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • They are also the quintessential supporters of the Taliban.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • She’s so quintessentially practical that most people would never guess she has a thing for angels.
    Gayle Forman  --  If I Stay
  • Good citizenship was quintessential to every soul.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  The Host
  • There lay the essence and quintessence of the Parisian white society.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables

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  • She did not just seem difficult—in his eyes she was the very quintessence of difficult.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
    William Shakespeare  --  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • I soon learned that on Everest not even the rope-the quintessential climber’s accoutrementwas to be utilized in the time-honored manner.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • He knew what would happen if he drank this spice drug with its quintessence of the substance that brought the change onto him.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • In quintessential triviality For years in this fleshcase a shesoul dwelt.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Tom Gau, the quintessential Salesman, takes the very arcane field of tax law and retirement planning and repackages it in terms that make emotional sense to his clients.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • This facade is a blend of early Gothic and late Romanesque, making this the quintessential Norman castle and placing it in England at about the twelfth century.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • It seemed the quintessence of the squareness he was fighting.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • * She is formed of the pure quintessence of the western air.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Some, of violated vows ’Twixt the souls of friend and friend; But upon the fairest boughs, Or at every sentence end, Will I Rosalinda write, Teaching all that read to know The quintessence of every sprite Heaven would in little show.
    William Shakespeare  --  As You Like It
  • When he became head of the National Party, he seemed to be the quintessential party man, nothing more and nothing less.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • She regarded him gravely, his intent green eyes, his mouth, that to her thirteen-year-old, arrow-collar taste was the quintessence of romance.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • Marching naked in formation with a group of naked women was for Tereza the quintessential image of horror.
    Milan Kundera  --  The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • …outlet of the Sierra, and as soon as Don Quixote and his companions emerged from it the curate began to examine him very deliberately, as though he were striving to recognise him, and after having stared at him for some time he hastened towards him with open arms exclaiming, "A happy meeting with the mirror of chivalry, my worthy compatriot Don Quixote of La Mancha, the flower and cream of high breeding, the protection and relief of the distressed, the quintessence of knights-errant!"
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • A nation that drew its audacity from the quintessentially American belief that success is open to anyone willing to work for it was disillusioned by seemingly intractable poverty.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • Yet he was a quintessential gentleman, courtly in the finest sense, with a troubled, endangered civility rooted in the bruised mythology of the Old South.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • She loved being surprised, coming to realize that in many ways Syria was a quintessentially Mediterranean country, connected to the sea and in love with food and new ideas and reflecting the influence of Greece, Italy, so many cultures.
    Dave Eggers  --  Zeitoun
  • This great man, as is well known to all lovers of polite eating, begins at first by setting plain things before his hungry guests, rising afterwards by degrees as their stomachs may be supposed to decrease, to the very quintessence of sauce and spices.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • Let there be light, said God; and forthwith Light Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, Sprung from the deep; and from her native east To journey through the aery gloom began, Sphered in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun Was not; she in a cloudy tabernacle Sojourned the while.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Incidentally in so doing, looking here and there, he one day thought he would speak to the manager of the fountain which was connected with the leading drug store in the principal hotel of the city—the latter a great twelve-story affair, which represented, as he saw it, the quintessence of luxury and ease.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • …pure air through which it had passed, which it set apart and isolated from all other air, with the mystery of the life of her whom its syllables designated to the happy creatures that lived and walked and travelled in her company; unfolding through the arch of the pink hawthorn, which opened at the height of my shoulder, the quintessence of their familiarity—so exquisitely painful to myself—with her, and with all that unknown world of her existence, into which I should never penetrate.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • It was the quintessence of every melodic cliche Reich had ever heard.
    Alfred Bester  --  The Demolished Man
  • He was the quintessential back-country Yankee, grunting instead of talking, sullen-faced.
    Stephen King  --  Cujo
  • He’s the quintessential capitalist.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • It is the quintessential blend of commerce and camaraderie: you hire a real-estate agent to sell your home.
    Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner  --  Freakonomics
  • They were quintessentially Southern, and she remembered seeing many of these rustic scenes on her journey through North Carolina.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Safe Haven
  • A hamburger and french fries became the quintessential American meal in the 1950s, thanks to the promotional efforts of the fast food chains.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • While thus coming before the open public on the lecture platform, he was all the time preparing the treatise which was to embody all the quintessential elements of his philosophical doctrine.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Selected Essays
  • Perched on rolling hills east of San Diego, La Mesa was the quintessential American suburb with paved roads, a municipal sewer system, good schools, and plenty of parks and recreational areas.
    W. William Winokur  --  The Perfect Game
  • Along with picking handcuffs, vaulting Jersey barriers, and fending off perverts, it is one of the quintessential Kourier skills: walking around in a place where you don’t belong without attracting suspicion.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • She photographed the quintessentially heterosexual couple’s eunuch dog, too.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • The Original Commander Call is the quintessential duck "quack," and the mallard hen typically gives the call in a series of two to ten quacks that start loud and get softer as she goes (sounds a lot like a woman I know at home).
    Phil Robertson  --  Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander
  • One must despise it insofar as it is the principle of gravity and inertia opposing the flow toward the light, insofar as it represents the principle of disease and death, insofar as its quintessence is a matter of perversity, of corruption, of lust and disgrace.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • What matters most to her is that on this most patriotic of evenings, she and the president will celebrate their first visit to the theater since the war’s end by enjoying the quintessential American comedy, on a night that features one of America’s—if not the world’s—most famous actresses.
    Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Lincoln
  • Harry did not answer, but pretended to be absorbed in the book they were supposed to have read before Charms next morning (Quintessence: A Q uest).
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • The rest, at this present, remains with me; extracted to a quintessence: so that, whereever it but touches, in youth it perpetually preserves, in age restores the complexion; seats your teeth, did they dance like virginal jacks, firm as a wall; makes them white as ivory, that were black, as— [ENTER CORVINO.
    Ben Jonson  --  Volpone
  • It was a XXth Century knife-pistol… the quintessence of murder.
    Alfred Bester  --  The Demolished Man
  • We all stood in some awe for the exit of Captain Maguire, the quintessential Coronado man, who understood the pride of achievement at having scaled the heights and who knew what really counted, in the SEALs and beyond.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • In it a rugged yet sensitive, quintessentially heterosexual male goes about his family-man business.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • In fact, beneath his long hair and mustache, Jim Ford was the quintessential organization man who was not happy unless a football game spread across the playground with Lombardian precision.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
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Associated words [difficulty]:   quintessential [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Fine Arts & Music, Philosophy, Sports
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