from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The essential nature or ‘substance’ of god.
  • n. Essence, being.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek οὐσία, feminine present participle of εἰμί ("I am").


  • For example, that which we term ousia is by some called esia, and by others again osia.


  • In the same manner, in the matter in question, the term ousia is common, like goodness, or Godhead, or any similar attribute; while hypostasis is contemplated in the special property of Fatherhood, Sonship, or the power to sanctify.

    NPNF2-08. Basil: Letters and Select Works

  • They had been driven to condemn in succession the accurate homoousion and the harmless homoiousion, and even the word ousia, or substance.

    NPNF2-09. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus

  • The non-identity of hypostasis and ousia is, I take it, suggested even by our western brethren, where, from a suspicion of the inadequacy of their own language, they have given the word ousia in the Greek, to the end that any possible difference of meaning might be preserved in the clear and unconfounded distinction of terms.

    NPNF2-08. Basil: Letters and Select Works

  • Heracleitus; -- the doctrine of the flux is contained in the word ousia (= osia the pushing principle), an anticipation of Anaxagoras is found in psuche and selene.


  • However, not only is homos ambiguous; the word ousia itself was often taken as equivalent to hypostasis (person), as apparently is the case in the anathema attached to the Nicene Symbol.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • Jesus Christ, generated from Him before the ages, "recommended the disuse of the terms ousia (essence or substance), homoousion

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • Indeed, if the Greek term being translated as 'being' in GNB were ousia, which is sometimes translated as 'being', then the homoousios can be taken as logically entailing that God is being.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • And let us never forget the supreme Mystery of the Vice President, uniting in one flesh the Executive and Legislative, two “persons” (hypostases) having a single “essence” (ousia), fully both without diminishing either.

    Matthew Yglesias » Right-Wing Rediscovers Threat of Executive Power

  • Go to her and seize her sleep, her drink, her food, and do not allow Matrona whom Tagene bore, whose ousia you have to have love or intercourse with any other man, except Theodoros, whom Techosis bore.

    In the Valley of the Shadow


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  • The feminine of ontia; the 'being' of somebody with specific reference to his stuff.

    August 21, 2008