American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An inscription on a tombstone in memory of the one buried there.
- n. A brief literary piece commemorating a deceased person.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An inscription on a tomb or monument in honor or memory of the dead.
- n. A brief enunciation or sentiment relating to a deceased person, in prose or verse, composed as if to be inscribed on a monument.
- n. One of the most pleasing epitaphs in general literature is that by Pope on Gay:
- To commemorate in an epitaph.
- To make epitaphs; use the epitaphic style.
- n. An inscription on a gravestone in memory of the deceased.
- n. A poem or other short text written in memory of a deceased person.
- v. To write or speak after the manner of an epitaph.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An inscription on, or at, a tomb, or a grave, in memory or commendation of the one buried there; a sepulchral inscription.
- n. A brief writing formed as if to be inscribed on a monument, as that concerning Alexander: “Sufficit huic tumulus, cui non sufficeret orbis.”
- v. rare To commemorate by an epitaph.
- v. rare To write or speak after the manner of an epitaph.
- n. a summary statement of commemoration for a dead person
- n. an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
- Old French epitafe, from Latin epitaphium ("eulogy"), from Ancient Greek ἐπιτάφιος (epitaphios, "relating to a funeral"), from ἐπί (epi, "over") + τάφος (taphos, "tomb"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French epitaphe, from Latin epitaphium, from Greek epitaphion, from neuter of epitaphios, funerary : epi-, epi- + taphos, tomb. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And her epitaph is delivered by Ben, who says without any hint of irony, “I guess the island was done with her.””
“An epitaph is the inscription found on a tombstone that summarizes and memorializes the deceased.”
“Author Nigel Rees brings to bear upon the strange and sometimes surprising world of the epitaph his formidable skills as an ‘archaeologist’ of the sources of quotation and phrases: each epitaph is explained and located, and its source and context described as fully as possible.”
“Palfrey and Hedge read Parker's Latin epitaph on Chev, amazed at the bad Latinity.”
“The simplicity of this scene recalls the epitaph which is said to have been written in honor of”
“a month after this great deliverance, the champion expired; and his most splendid epitaph is the regret of the Ottoman prince, who sighed that he could no longer hope for revenge against the single antagonist who had triumphed over his arms.”
“An epitaph is on a gravestone, and while I am sure they would be happy to oblige, that wasn’t what they were actually throwing, I don’t think ….”
“Ernest Hemingway once became known for writing a six word epitaph:”
“I copy down the name and epitaph and next to it I write “ghost?””
“An Elegicall epitaph, made upon the death of that mirror of women”
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