American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A lyric ode in honor of a bride and bridegroom.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A nuptial song or poem; a poem in honor of a newly married person or pair, in praise of and invoking blessings upon its subject or subjects.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A nuptial song, or poem in honor of the bride and bridegroom.
- n. an ode honoring a bride and bridegroom
- From Ancient Greek ἐπιθαλάμιον, noun use of the neuter form of επιθαλαμιος ‘nuptial’, from επι− + θαλαμος ‘bridal chamber’. (Wiktionary)
- Latin, from Greek epithalamion, from neuter of epithalamios, of a wedding : epi-, epi- + thalamos, bridal chamber. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Ennodius, deacon of Milan under Theodoric and later Bishop of Pavia, inveighed against the impious person who carried a statue of Minerva to a disorderly house, and himself under pretext of an "epithalamium" wrote light and trivial verses.”
“ This ode is introduced in the Romance of Theodorus Prodromus, and is that kind of epithalamium which was sung like a scolium at the nuptial banquet.”
“England's current poet laureate, Andrew Motion, has contrived some well-made poems for royal occasions, most notably "Spring Wedding," a delicately turned epithalamium for Price Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles that even manages a careful allusion to the death of Princess Diana.”
“It appears, from this epithalamium, that young men, before their marriage, had a favorite selected from among their slaves and that this favorite was charged with the distribution of nuts among his comrades, on the day, they in turn, treated him with contempt and hooted him.”
“He sets out his son and his church in that epithalamium or mystical song of Solomon, to enamour us the more, comparing his head to fine gold, his locks curled and black as a raven, Cant. iv.”
““If your Majesty would only condescend to turn the epigram into an epithalamium?” said the Count, trying to turn the sally to good account.”
“At the end of the avenue, a select bevy of comely virgins arrayed in white, and a separate band of choice youths distinguished by garlands of laurel and holly interweaved, fell into the procession, and sung in chorus a rustic epithalamium composed by the curate.”
“Marguerite, and threw a parchment, tied with a golden ribbon, into the princess 'litter; an epithalamium, in verse, written in her own fair hand.”
“At the marriage of Rupert's mother, the student Hampden was chosen to write the Oxford epithalamium, exulting in the prediction of some noble offspring to follow such a union.”
“The very insects, as they sipped the dew that gemmed the tender grass of meadows, joined in the joyous epithalamium, the virgin bud timidly put forth its blushes, "the voice of the turtle was heard in the land," and the heart of man dissolved away in tenderness.”
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