Learner's definition of ESSENCE
1 [singular] : the basic nature of a thing : the quality or qualities that make a thing what it is
The essence of love is unselfishness.
The book's illustrations capture the essence of the story.
Competition is the (very) essence of capitalism.
2 [noncount] : a substance that contains in very strong form the special qualities (such as the taste and smell) of the thing from which it is taken
: at the most basic level
He was in essence [=basically, essentially, fundamentally] an honest person.
In essence, I believe that a real solution is not possible.
of the essence
: of the greatest importance