• Quiddity


    • UK IPA: /ˈkwɪdɪti/


    From Middle French quiddité, and its source, Late Latin quidditas, from Latin quid + -itas.

    Full definition of quiddity



    (plural quiddities)
    1. (philosophy) The essence or inherent nature of a person or thing.
      • 1822, October, Charles Lamb, The Old Actors, published in London Magazine, section on “Mr. Munden” (ebook):A tub of butter, contemplated by him, amounts to a Platonic idea. He understands a leg of mutton in its quiddity. He stands wondering, amid the commonplace materials of life, like primæval man, with the sun and stars about him.
      • 1962, Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire:My vision reeked with truth. It had the tone,The quiddity and quaintness of its ownReality.
      • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber & Faber 1992 (Avignon Quintet), p. 352:He represented my quiddity I suppose – the part which, thanks to you, has converted a black pessimism about life into a belief in cosmic absurdity.
    2. (legal) A trifle; a nicety or quibble.
    3. An eccentricity; an odd feature.


    Derived terms

    Coordinate terms

    © Wiktionary