Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero.
  • n. A literary or dramatic composition that resembles an extended narrative poem celebrating heroic feats.
  • n. A series of events considered appropriate to an epic: the epic of the Old West.
  • adj. Of, constituting, having to do with, or suggestive of a literary epic: an epic poem.
  • adj. Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size: "A vast musical panorama . . . it requires an epic musical understanding to do it justice” ( Tim Page).
  • adj. Heroic and impressive in quality: "Here in the courtroom . . . there was more of that epic atmosphere, the extra amperage of a special moment” ( Scott Turow).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a deity or demigod (heroic epic) or other legendary or traditional hero.
  • n. A series of events considered appropriate to an epic.
  • adj. Of, or relating to, an epic.
  • adj. Momentously heroic; grand in scale or character
  • adj. Extending beyond the usual or ordinary; extraordinary, momentous, great.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Narrated in a grand style; pertaining to or designating a kind of narrative poem, usually called an heroic poem, in which real or fictitious events, usually the achievements of some hero, are narrated in an elevated style.
  • n. An epic or heroic poem. See epic, a.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or constituting an epos or heroic poem; narrating at length and in metrical form as a poetic whole with subordination of parts a series of heroic achievements or of events under supernatural guidance.
  • Hence Of heroic character or quality; bold in action; imposing.
  • n. A narrative poem of elevated character, describing generally the exploits of heroes; an epic poem. See I.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)
  • adj. constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic
  • n. a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds

Etymologies

From Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos, word, song.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin epicus, from Ancient Greek ἐπικός (epikos), from ἔπος (epos, "word, story"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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