Definitions

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

  • n. A number of poems, not formally united, that treat an epic theme.
  • n. An epic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An epic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An epic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An epic poem, or its subject; an epopee; epic poetry.
  • n. In ancient prosody, a dactylic hexameter.
  • n. In paleography, a series of words or letters, approximately of the length of a dactylic hexameter, anciently used as a line of normal size in writing manuscripts or estimating their length.

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

  • n. a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
  • n. a body of poetry that conveys the traditions of a society by treating some epic theme

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek; see wekw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, from Ancient Greek ἔπος (epos, "word, song, epic"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The epos is the calm quiet representation of an action in progress.

    Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature

  • In this way he discovers amidst these ruins the thread of an old connection, a kind of epos, the theme of which was the glorification of the people of Israel, a theme which finds a prelude even in the primitive history of the human race.

    Prolegomena

  • (TSX: SEG), a Canadian-owned Mexican-based mining operations company; TVN Niagara Inc., a venture vying to become the Niagara Peninsula's first over-the-air television broadcaster; AGS Inc., an "epos"

    Marketwire - Breaking News Releases

  • Aims to give an account of what he calls 'poetry' (for him, the term includes the lyric, the epos, and the drama).

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • The argument that it is ‘complicated’ is spurious as retail chains manage to calibrate their epos systems with different rates.

    Will Amazon Lose Sales Because It Collects New York Taxes? - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • BRINKLEY: He really helped create his legacy as creating this incredible wild America epos (ph).

    CNN Transcript Jul 28, 2009

  • Here occur the questions, Where and When was written and to Whom do we owe a prose-poem which, like the dramatic epos of Herodotus, has no equal?

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Born in Paris labored in the epos of our flowed generation.

    Amelia Rosselli

  • We can imagine, therefore, that among such folk a settler, of Aeolic origin like Hesiod, who clearly was well acquainted with the Ionian epos, would naturally see that the only outlet for his gifts lay in applying epic poetry to new themes acceptable to his hearers.

    Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

  • First, it is likely that before the rise of the Ionian epos there existed in Boeotia a purely popular and indigenous poetry of a crude form: it comprised, we may suppose, versified proverbs and precepts relating to life in general, agricultural maxims, weather-lore, and the like.

    Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

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