the soul of (something)

the soul of (something)

The representation, essence, or embodiment of a particular trait or quality (which is stated after "of"). My mom is just the soul of kindness—she's always willing to help anyone in need. As the old saying goes, brevity is the soul of wit—if your joke meanders or stalls, the humor of it dies. Don't worry, my sister is the soul of discretion—she won't tell anyone about our engagement before we do.
See also: of, soul

soul of, the

The essence of some quality, as in You can trust her; she's the soul of discretion, or He's the very soul of generosity but he can be cranky at times. This idiom was first recorded in 1605.
See also: soul