One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly Philosophy. Of or relating to the ‘quiddity’ or essence of a person or thing; essential.
2Full of quiddities or equivocations; characterized by verbal niceties or quibbles. rare after 17th cent.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Timon. Apparently from Middle French, French quidditatif relating to the essence of a person or thing, characterized by verbal niceties and its etymon post-classical Latin quidditativus relating to the essence of a person or thing from quidditat-, quidditas + classical Latin -īvus; compare -ative.
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