noun \ˈe-pə-ˌgram\

: a short and clever poem or saying

Full Definition of EPIGRAM

:  a concise poem dealing pointedly and often satirically with a single thought or event and often ending with an ingenious turn of thought
:  a terse, sage, or witty and often paradoxical saying
:  epigrammatic expression
ep·i·gram·ma·tism \ˌe-pə-ˈgra-mə-ˌti-zəm\ noun
ep·i·gram·ma·tist \-ˈgra-mə-tist\ noun

Examples of EPIGRAM

  1. <Benjamin Franklin's famous epigram, Remember that time is money.>

Origin of EPIGRAM

Middle English epigrame, from Latin epigrammat-, epigramma, from Greek, from epigraphein to write on, inscribe, from epi- + graphein to write — more at carve
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Literature Terms

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


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.


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