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I am looking for a word that I have seen many times and that has temporarily escaped my brain. If someone was to be looking for the answer to the ultimate or existential questions (life/death/religion/higher purpose etc.), what is the word used for this answer? Not the answer itself, but a synonym for answer with a heavier or grander meaning. Example:

Humans have spent millennia looking for the X to life’s greatest questions.

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are you thinking of solution? – Jim Oct 5 '12 at 1:02
Or something more like the elucidation of? – Kit Z. Fox Oct 5 '12 at 1:03
No, it is not a word that is as commonly used as 'Solution' and no it is not 'the elucidation of'. Thank you though. – David Oct 5 '12 at 1:25
How do revelation, epiphany, or insight strike you? – Cameron Oct 5 '12 at 1:25
No, it is more of an objective answer. An epiphany or revelation may lead me to this. I apologise for being terrible at trying to describe this. I think "answer" is a fine synonym for this word. But to say "I discovered the answer to humanities greatest question" would probably not do the statement justice. A fancier word for 'answer' while pertaining specifically to existential/grandiose questions. – David Oct 5 '12 at 1:35

How about "Holy grail"? Any goal from a legendary quest would do, I think.

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Clincher, decider -- unless you're Bush 43 -- last word or key.

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I think the ultimate answer is


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Lol! Getting punchy, are we? :-) – Kristina Lopez Oct 5 '12 at 2:26
Yeah, I was waiting for that. I'm not looking for the answer, rather a synonym for 'answer'. See above. – David Oct 5 '12 at 2:26
That, or the Higgs boson. – Jim Oct 5 '12 at 4:39
-1 As soon as I read the question, I knew someone would answer that. If you're going to post off-topic things, why not at least make them creative? – 3nafish Dec 2 '12 at 3:29

Could you use Facticity? This has a variety of meanings, the most prevalent being the intractable conditions of human existence. So Humans have spent millennia looking for the facticity to life’s greatest questions, means they are looking for the definitive answer that cannot be further interpreted

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This doesn't seem to fit the OP's criteria. – American Luke Nov 19 '12 at 2:01

protected by tchrist Nov 18 '12 at 23:46

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