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Definition of "quiddity" []

  • The real nature of a thing; the essence. (noun)
  • A hairsplitting distinction; a quibble. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "quiddity" in a sentence
  • "I was reminded of contranyms when Matt sent me an email about the word quiddity which means both “essence” and “hairsplitting distinction.”"
  • "It has therefore been termed the quiddity of the thing."
  • "A novelist's ultimate achievement is to enable us to know a character so well that we catch a glimpse of his inviolable unknowability, his singular quiddity -- in other words, though Wood doesn't use the term, his soul."