Simple Definition of epitaph
: something written or said in memory of a dead person; especially : words written on a gravestone
Examples of epitaph in a sentence
The epitaph reads “In loving memory of John Gray: husband, father, soldier.”
Did You Know?
An inscription on a tomb is an epitaph, as is, by extension, anything written as if to be inscribed on a tomb. Probably the earliest surviving epitaphs are those written on ancient Egyptian sarcophagi and coffins. In Elizabethan times, epitaphs became much more common in English. Many of the best known are literary memorials (often deliberately witty) not intended for a tomb. Benjamin Franklin’s epitaph for himself plays on his trade as a printer, hoping that he will “appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.” The 20th-century writer and wit Dorothy Parker’s suggested epitaphs include “I told you I was sick” and “If you can read this, you’re standing too close.”
Origin and Etymology of epitaph
Middle English epitaphe, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin epitaphium, from Latin, funeral oration, from Greek epitaphion, from epi- + taphos tomb, funeral
First Known Use: 14th century
EPITAPH Defined for Kids
Definition of epitaph for Students
: a brief statement on a tombstone in memory of a dead person
Seen and Heard
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