Short poem treating concisely, pointedly, and often satirically a single thought or event and often ending with a witticism or ingenious turn of thought. By extension, the term applies to a terse, sage, or witty (often paradoxical) saying, usually in the form of a generalization. Writers of Latin epigrams included Catullus and Martial. The form was revived in the Renaissance. Later masters of the epigram have included Ben Jonson; François VI, duke de La Rochefoucauld; Voltaire; Alexander Pope; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Oscar Wilde; and George Bernard Shaw.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.For the full entry on epigram, visit Britannica.com.
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