adjective \ˈe-pik\

: telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures

: very great or large and usually difficult or impressive

Full Definition of EPIC

:  of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an epic <an epic poem>
a :  extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope <his genius was epicTimes Literary Supplement>
b :  heroic
ep·i·cal \-pi-kəl\ adjective
ep·i·cal·ly \-pi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of EPIC

  1. The football game was an epic battle between two great teams.
  2. The bridge was an epic achievement.
  3. The company is engaged in an epic struggle for survival.
  4. an accomplishment of epic proportions

Origin of EPIC

Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos word, speech, poem — more at voice
First Known Use: 1589

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody



: a long poem that tells the story of a hero's adventures

: a long book, movie, etc., that usually tells a story about exciting events or adventures

Full Definition of EPIC

:  a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero <the Iliad and the Odyssey are epics>
:  a work of art (as a novel or drama) that resembles or suggests an epic
:  a series of events or body of legend or tradition thought to form the proper subject of an epic <the epic of the winning of the West>

Examples of EPIC

  1. Homer's ancient Greek epic The Odyssey.

First Known Use of EPIC


Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Long, narrative poem in an elevated style that celebrates heroic achievement and treats themes of historical, national, religious, or legendary significance. Primary (or traditional) epics are shaped from the legends and traditions of a heroic age and are part of oral tradition; secondary (or literary) epics are written down from the beginning, and their poets adapt aspects of traditional epics. The poems of Homer are usually regarded as the first important epics and the main source of epic conventions in western Europe. These conventions include the centrality of a hero, sometimes semidivine; an extensive, perhaps cosmic, setting; heroic battle; extended journeying; and the involvement of supernatural beings.


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