Essence vs Phenomenon - What's the difference?

essence | phenomenon |

As nouns the difference between essence and phenomenon

is that essence is (senseid)the inherent nature of a thing or idea while phenomenon is an observable fact or occurrence or a kind of observable fact or occurrence.




(en noun)
  • (senseid)The inherent nature of a thing or idea.
  • * Landor
  • The laws are at present, both in form and essence , the greatest curse that society labours under.
  • * Addison
  • Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence of this virtue [charity].
  • * Courthorpe
  • The essence of Addison's humour is irony.
  • (philosophy) The true nature of anything, not accidental or illusory.
  • Constituent substance.
  • * Milton
  • Uncompounded is their essence pure.
  • A being; especially, a purely spiritual being.
  • * Milton
  • As far as gods and heavenly essences / Can perish.
  • * Washington Irving
  • He had been indulging in fanciful speculations on spiritual essences , until he had an ideal world of his own around him.
  • A significant feature of something.
  • The concentrated form of a plant or drug obtained through a distillation process.
  • * essence of Jojoba
  • Fragrance, a perfume.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Nor let the essences exhale.

    Derived terms

    * in essence * of the essence; time is of the essence


    * ----


    Alternative forms

    * phaenomenon, (archaic) * phainomenon * (qualifier)


  • An observable fact or occurrence or a kind of observable fact or occurrence.
  • * 1900 , , The Making of Religion , ch. 1:
  • The Indians, making a hasty inference from a trivial phenomenon , arrived unawares at a probably correct conclusion.
  • * 2007 , " Ask the Experts: Hurricanes," USA Today , 7 Nov. (retrieved 16 Jan. 2009):
  • Hurricanes are a meteorological phenomenon .
  • Appearance; a perceptible aspect of something that is mutable.
  • * 1662 , Thomas Salusbury (translator), Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World , First Day:
  • I verily believe that in the Moon there are no rains, for if Clouds should gather in any part thereof, as they do about the Earth, they would thereupon hide from our sight some of those things, which we with the Telescope behold in the Moon, and in a word, would some way or other change its Phœnomenon .
  • A fact or event considered very unusual, curious, or astonishing by those who witness it.
  • * 1816 , , The Antiquary—Volume I , ch. 18:
  • The phenomenon of a huge blazing fire, upon the opposite bank of the glen, again presented itself to the eye of the watchman. . . . He resolved to examine more nearly the object of his wonder.
  • A wonderful or very remarkable person or thing.
  • * 1839 , , Nicholas Nickleby , ch. 23:
  • "This, sir," said Mr Vincent Crummles, bringing the maiden forward, "this is the infant phenomenon —Miss Ninetta Crummles."
  • * 1888 , , "The Phantom Rickshaw":
  • But, all the same, you're a phenomenon', and as queer a ' phenomenon as you are a blackguard.
  • An experienced object whose constitution reflects the order and conceptual structure imposed upon it by the human mind (especially by the powers of perception and understanding).
  • * 1900 , , "Comparison of Some Views of Spencer and Kant," Mind , vol. 9, no. 34, p. 234:
  • Every "phenomenon " must be, at any rate, partly subjective or dependent on the subject.
  • * 1912 , , "Is There a Cognitive Relation?" The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods , vol. 9, no. 9, p. 232:
  • The Kantian phenomenon is the real as we are compelled to think it.

    Usage notes

    * The universal, common, modern spelling of this term is (term). Of the , phaenomenon, ,). * By far the most common and universally accepted plural form is the classical phenomena; the Anglicised phenomenons is also sometimes used. The plural form (term) is frequently misused in the singular. Arising from this misuse, the double plurals phenomenas and phenomenae, as well as a form employing the greengrocer’s apostrophe — — are seen in non-standard use; they are erroneous.


    * (observable fact or occurrence) event * marvel, miracle, oddity, wonder * (wonderful person or thing) marvel, miracle, phenom, prodigy, wonder


    * noumenon, thing-in-itself

    Derived terms

    * phenom