Definition of incipit in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈsipit/


The opening words of a text, manuscript, early printed book, or chanted liturgical text. Compare with explicit.
Example sentences
  • The resolution of the facsimile at high magnification is not clear enough to see the detail of the incipits, but it is fascinating to discover more about this shadowy publication.
  • Manual and printed collections of incipits permit only one type of inquiry: by the first word.
  • The scripts are accessed through forms which allow you to specify the manuscripts, feasts or incipits which interest you.


Late 19th century: Latin, literally '(here) begins'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·ci·pit

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