Definition of epode in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈepōd/


1A form of lyric poem written in couplets, in which a long line is followed by a shorter one.
Example sentences
  • Even the ‘archaic’ epodes are written in a style of painstaking elegance.
  • What suggests that we are dealing with the portrait of an ethical ideal is the locution ‘Heureux celui qui’ [Happy the man who], recalling the sententious maxim (Beatus tile qui) that begins Horace's epode II.
  • Other epodes take up motifs from other contemporary genres (elegy in 11 and 15, pastoral in 2) but with significant alterations of tone: Horace ironically breaks the high emotional level of the models with a detached and distant closure.
2The third section of an ancient Greek choral ode, or of one division of such an ode. Compare with strophe and antistrophe.
Example sentences
  • The dance consisted of three sections: strophe, antistrophe and epode.
  • This was a ‘regular ode’ in that it closely followed Pindar's scheme of all strophes and antistrophes conforming to one stanzaic pattern, and all epodes following another.
  • The epode, or ‘aftersong,’ typically involves some form of return, as if from a trance, a resurfacing or unearthing motion that completes the ritual and brings the excavated find or renewed sense of racial consciousness to light.


Early 17th century: from French épode, or via Latin epodos, from Greek epōidos, from epi 'upon' + ōidē (see ode).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ep·ode

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