Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

epithet

play
noun ep·i·thet \ˈe-pə-ˌthet also -thət\

Simple Definition of epithet

  • : a word or phrase that describes a person or thing

  • : an offensive word or name that is used as a way of abusing or insulting someone

Full Definition of epithet

  1. 1 a :  a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing b :  a disparaging or abusive word or phrase c :  the part of a taxonomic name identifying a subordinate unit within a genus

  2. 2 obsolete :  expression

ep·i·thet·ic play \ˌe-pə-ˈthe-tik\ or ep·i·thet·i·cal play \-ti-kəl\ adjective

Examples of epithet

  1. His charitable works have earned him the epithet Mr. Philanthropy.

  2. Many were offended by her use of racial epithets.

  3. a group of angry people hurling epithets at one another



Origin of epithet

Latin epitheton, from Greek, from neuter of epithetos added, from epitithenai to put on, add, from epi- + tithenai to put — more at do


First Known Use: 1579


Medical Dictionary

epithet

play
noun ep·i·thet \ˈep-ə-ˌthet also -thət\

Medical Definition of epithet

  1. :  the part of a scientific name identifying the species, variety, or other subunit within a genus—see specific epithet





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up epithet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift kittly-benders duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ