Definitions

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

  • n. The beginning or opening words of the text of a medieval manuscript or early printed book.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The first few words of a text, especially its first line.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • ‘(Here) beginneth’: the first word in a preliminary formula common in medieval manuscripts and early printed books, introducing the title or name of the work or of the preface or other part of it: as, “Incipit preambulum”; “Incipit prologus in libellum qui dicitur Promptorius Parvulorum,” etc. Compare explicit, verb
  • n. The introductory words of a book or section of a book. Compare explicit, n.

Etymologies

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

From Latin, third person sing. present tense of incipere, to begin; see inception.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin incipit ("it begins")

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • –noun

    1. the introductory words or opening phrases in the text of a medieval manuscript or an early printed book.

    2. Music. the first words of a chanted liturgical text, as that of a Gregorian chant or certain medieval motets.

    -dictionary.com

    January 31, 2009