from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An inscription on a tombstone in memory of the one buried there.
  • noun A brief literary piece commemorating a deceased person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To commemorate in an epitaph.
  • To make epitaphs; use the epitaphic style.
  • noun An inscription on a tomb or monument in honor or memory of the dead.
  • noun A brief enunciation or sentiment relating to a deceased person, in prose or verse, composed as if to be inscribed on a monument.
  • noun One of the most pleasing epitaphs in general literature is that by Pope on Gay:

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An inscription on, or at, a tomb, or a grave, in memory or commendation of the one buried there; a sepulchral inscription.
  • noun A brief writing formed as if to be inscribed on a monument, as that concerning Alexander: “Sufficit huic tumulus, cui non sufficeret orbis.”
  • transitive verb rare To commemorate by an epitaph.
  • intransitive verb rare To write or speak after the manner of an epitaph.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An inscription on a gravestone in memory of the deceased.
  • noun A poem or other short text written in memory of a deceased person.
  • verb To write or speak after the manner of an epitaph.

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

  • noun a summary statement of commemoration for a dead person
  • noun an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there


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

[Middle English, from Old French epitaphe, from Latin epitaphium, from Greek epitaphion, from neuter of epitaphios, funerary : epi-, epi- + taphos, tomb.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French epitafe, from Latin epitaphium ("eulogy"), from Ancient Greek ἐπιτάφιος (epitaphios, "relating to a funeral"), from ἐπί (epi, "over") + τάφος (taphos, "tomb").


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  • Epitaph to a Dog is a poem by the English poet Lord Byron. It was written in 1808 in honor of his Newfoundland dog, Boatswain, who had just died of rabies. Check it's beautiful.

    February 3, 2008

  • Good idea, Treeseed. I'll do that. -- However, my own personal choice in case of possible death would be: "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

    March 3, 2009

  • The saddest article I've ever read is this article about a Sports columnist's recently deceased dog. For those who aren't into sports, this article transcends sports writing.

    March 5, 2009

  • See dyer.

    March 20, 2009

  • Oh seanahan, that article nearly made me cry.

    March 20, 2009

  • Bloody hell! Thank you, seanahan, for making me cry. :o} I've done laugh-related crying lately with animals more or less, but that story was really a trigger. Boo hoo.

    March 20, 2009

  • It is a very good article indeed. Rather surprisingly, at least to me, it did not make me cry. (Perhaps because I recently went through a similar situation.)

    I remember the vet telling us, the first time she was diagnosed, he wouldn't give us a range of how long he thought she'd live. I persisted, "Well, a month? A year? Somewhere in between?" He said, "Maybe a year. I can tell you whatever number you want, but I can promise you only one thing: Whatever I say, she'll make a liar out of me."

    She did. She lived for two more years. :)

    March 20, 2009

  • A toast to good, brave doggies everywhere. :-)

    *raises glass*

    March 20, 2009

  • *raises glass*

    March 20, 2009

  • I wish that you were here with me to pass the dull weekend

    I know it wouldn't come to love, my heroine pretend

    A lady stepping from the songs we love until this day

    You'd settle for an epitaph like "Walk Away, Renee"

    The sun upon the roof in winter will draw you out like a flower

    Meet you at the statue in an hour.

    (Piazza, New York catcher, by Belle and Sebastian)

    March 8, 2010

  • Epitaph for a dentist: Don't intrude on the Good Dentist, he's busy filling a cavity.

    September 10, 2010