Etymology
Advertisement

quiddity (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" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns).

The sense developed from scholastic disputes over the nature of things. Original classical meaning "real essence or nature of a thing, that which distinguishes a thing from other things and makes it what it is" is attested in English from late 14c. (quidite).

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of quiddity

quiddity (n.)
an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections;
Synonyms: quibble / cavil
quiddity (n.)
the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and makes it different from any other;
Synonyms: haecceity
From wordnet.princeton.edu