Share this entry

Share this page

epitaph

Line breaks: epi|taph
Pronunciation: /ˈɛpɪtɑːf
 
, -taf/

Definition of epitaph in English:

noun

1A phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone: figurative a poignant epitaph to his creative career
More example sentences
  • This might be recorded on their tombstone as an epitaph or in an obituary, commemoration portrait, or in some cases a biography.
  • All the tombstones were well carved, and some had wonderful epitaphs written on them; one, belonging to a 22 year old woman said ‘Those who seek me with all their heart shall find me where they least expect’.
  • A few words like that are sweeter than an epitaph on the grandest tombstone ever raised.
Synonyms
elegy, commemoration, obituary, funeral oration;
inscription, engraving, etching, legend
1.1Something by which a person, time, or event will be remembered: the story makes a sorry epitaph to a great career

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French epitaphe, via Latin from Greek epitaphion 'funeral oration', neuter of ephitaphios 'over or at a tomb', from epi 'upon' + taphos 'tomb'.

More
  • Old French epitaphe came via Latin from Greek epitaphion ‘funeral oration’, from ephitaphios ‘over or at a tomb’, from epi ‘upon’ and taphos ‘tomb’.

Words that rhyme with epitaph

jackstaffdistafftipstaff

Definition of epitaph in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure