Dictionary: E-SPOUS'ED – ES-SEN'TIAL

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Betrothed; affianced; promised in marriage by contract; married; united intimately; embraced.


Act of espousing.


One who espouses; one who defends the cause of another.


Betrothing; promising in marriage by covenant; marrying; uniting indissolubly; taking part in.

ESPRIT-DE-CORPS, n. [espre de cōr. Fr. Esprit de corps.]

The spirit of the body or society; the common spirit or disposition formed by men in association.

E-SPY', n.

A spy; a scout.

E-SPY', v.i.

To look narrowly; to look about; to watch. Stand by the way and espy. Jer. xlviii. [This word is often pronounced spy, – which see.]

E-SPY', v.t. [Fr. epier, espier; Sp. espiar; It. spiare; D. bespieden, from spiede, a spy; G. spähen, to spy; Sw. speia; Dan. speider; W. yspiaw, and yspeithiaw, from yspaith, paith. See Spy. The radical letters seem to be Pd; if not, the word is a contraction from the root of L. specio.]

  1. To see at a distance; to have the first sight of a thing remote. Seamen espy land as they approach it.
  2. To see or discover something intended to be hid, or in a degree concealed and not very visible; as, to espy a man in a crowd, or a thief in a wood.
  3. To discover unexpectedly. As one of them opened his sack, he espied his money. Gen. xlii.
  4. To inspect narrowly; to examine and make discoveries. Moses sent me to espy out the land, and I brought him word again. Josh. xiv.

E-SPY'ING, ppr.

Discovering, seeing first.

E-SQUIRE', n. [Fr. ecuyer; It. scudiere; Sp. escudero; Port. escudeiro; from L. scutum, a shield, from Gr. σκυτος, a hide, of which shields were anciently made, or from the root of that word. Sax. sceadan. See Shade.]

Properly, a shield-bearer or armor-hearer, scutifer; an attendant on a knight. Hence in modern times, a title of dignity next in degree below a knight. In England, this title is given to the younger sons of noblemen, to officers of the king's courts and of the household, to counselors at law, justices of the peace, while in commission, sherifs, and other gentlemen. In the United States, the title is given to public officers of all degrees, from governors down to justices and attorneys. Indeed the title, in addressing letters, is bestowed on any person at pleasure, and contains no definite description. It is merely an expression of respect.

E-SQUIRE', v.t.

To attend; to wait on.


Attended, waited on.


Attending, as an esquire.

ES'SAY, n.

  1. A trial; attempt; endeavor; an effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of any thing. We say, to make an essay. Fruitless our hopes, though pious our essays. Smith.
  2. In literature, a composition intended to prove or illustrate a particular subject; usually shorter and less methodical and finished than a system; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils; an essay on commerce.
  3. A trial or experiment; as, this is the first essay.
  4. Trial or experiment to prove the qualities of a metal. [In this sense, see Assay.]
  5. First taste of any thing. Dryden.

ES-SAY', v.t. [Fr. essayer; Norm. essoyer; Arm. æczaca; D. zoeken, to seek; bezoeken, verzoeken, to essay; G. suchen, to seek; versuchen, to essay; Dan. forsöger; Sw. försökia; Sp. ensayar; Port. ensaiar; It. saggiare, assaggiare. The primary word is seek, the same as L. sequor. See Seek. The radical sense is to press, drive, urge, strain, strive, Ch. אסק. Class Sg, No. 46.]

  1. To try; to attempt; to endeavor; to exert one's power or faculties, or to make an effort to perform any thing. While I this unexampled task essay. Blackmore.
  2. To make experiment of.
  3. To try the value and purity of metals. In this application, the word is now more generally written assay, – which see.

ES-SAY'ED, pp.

Attempted; tried.


One who writes essays. Addison.

ES-SAY'ING, ppr.

Trying; making an effort; attempting.


A writer of an essay, or of essays. Butler.

ES'SENCE, n. [L. essentia; Fr. essence; It. essenza; Sp. esencia; from L. esse, to be; Sw. väsende; Goth. wisands, from wisan, Sax. wesan, to be, whence was. The sense of the verb is, to set, to fix, to be permanent.]

  1. That which constitutes the particular nature of a being or substance, or of a genus, and which distinguishes it from all others. Mr. Locke makes a distinction between nominal essence and real essence. The nominal essence, for example, of gold, is that complex idea expressed by gold; the real essence is the constitution of its insensible parts, on which its properties depend, which is unknown to us. The essence of God bears no relation to place. E. D. Griffin.
  2. Formal existence; that which makes any thing to be what it is; or rather, the peculiar nature of a thing; the very substance; as, the essence of Christianity.
  3. Existence; the quality of being. I could have resign'd my very essence. Sidney.
  4. A being; an existent person; as, heavenly essences. Milton.
  5. Species of being. Bacon.
  6. Constituent substance; as, the pure essence of a spirit. [Locke's real essence, supra.] Milton.
  7. The predominant qualities or virtues of any plant or drug, extracted, refined or rectified from grosser matter; or more strictly, a volatile essential oil; as, the essence of mint.
  8. Perfume, odor, scent; or the volatile matter constituting perfume. Nor let th' imprisoned essences exhale. Pope.

ES'SENCE, v.t.

To perfume; to scent.


Perfumed; as, essenced fops. Addison.


Among the Jews, a sect remarkable for their strictness and abstinence.

ES-SEN'TIAL, a. [L. essentialis.]

  1. Necessary to the constitution or existence of a thing. Piety and good works are essential to the Christian character. Figure and extension are essential properties of bodies. And if each system in gradation roll, / Alike essential to the amazing whole. Pope.
  2. Important in the highest degree. Judgment is more essential to a general than courage. Denham.
  3. Pure; highly rectified. Essential oils are such as are drawn from plants by distillation in an alembic with water, as distinguished from empyreumatic oils, which are raised by a naked fire without water. Encyc.


  1. Existence; being. [Little used.] Milton.
  2. First or constituent principles; as, the essentials of religion.
  3. The chief point; that of that which is most important.