Definitions

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

  • noun The opening words of a text, especially when used in place of a title to identify an otherwise untitled work.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The introductory words of a book or section of a book. Compare explicit, n.
  • ‘(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

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

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

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

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  • –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