One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
2Metaphysics. Substance, essence, being, specifically. Aristotle's first category.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Arthur Stanley (1815–1881), dean of Westminster. From ancient Greek οὐσία substance, essence, in Byzantine Greek also in theological sense from ὀντ-, stem of present participle of εἶναι to be + -ία.
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