Sine qua non's

sine qua non

[sahy-nee kwey non, kwah, sin-ey; Latin si-ne kwah-nohn]
an indispensable condition, element, or factor; something essential: Her presence was the sine qua non of every social event.

< Late Latin sine quā (causā) nōn without which (thing) not Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sine qua non (ˈsaɪnɪ kweɪ ˈnɒn)
an essential condition or requirement
[literally: without which not]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

sine qua non
"an indispensible condition," c.1600, from L., lit. "without which not," from sine "without" + qua ablative fem. sing. of qui "which" + non "not." Fem. to agree with implied causa. The L. phrase is common in Scholastic use. Sometimes a masc. form, sine quo non, is used when a person is intended. Proper
plural is sine quibus non.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
sine qua non [(sin-i kwah non, nohn)]

The essential, crucial, or indispensable ingredient without which something would be impossible: “Her leadership was the sine qua non of the organization's success.” From Latin, meaning “without which nothing.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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