Quiddity



[kwid-i-tee] /ˈkwɪd ɪ ti/

noun, plural quiddities.
1.
the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing.
2.
a trifling nicety of subtle distinction, as in argument.
/ˈkwɪdɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
(philosophy) the essential nature of something Compare haecceity
2.
a petty or trifling distinction; quibble
noun

a subtlety or quibbling point; triviality
Word Origin

Latin quid ‘something’ + -ity
n.

“a trifling nicety in argument, a quibble,” 1530s, from Medieval Latin quidditas “the essence of things,” in Scholastic philosophy, “that which distinguishes a thing from other things,” literally “whatness,” from Latin quid “what,” neuter of indefinite pronoun quis “somebody, someone or other” (see who). Sense developed from scholastic disputes over the nature of things. Original classical meaning “real essence or nature of a thing” is attested in English from late 14c.

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