noun \i-ˈpi-tə-mē\

: a perfect example : an example that represents or expresses something very well

Full Definition of EPITOME

a :  a summary of a written work
b :  a brief presentation or statement of something
:  a typical or ideal example :  embodiment <the British monarchy itself is the epitome of tradition — Richard Joseph>
:  brief or miniature form —usually used with in
ep·i·tom·ic \ˌe-pə-ˈtä-mik\ or ep·i·tom·i·cal \-mi-kəl\ adjective

Examples of EPITOME

  1. <the golden rule is often cited as the epitome of moral conduct: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you>
  2. <the prestigious prep school prides itself on being widely regarded as the epitome of tradition and old-fashioned values>
  3. Terns, nicknamed sea swallows by fishermen, are superb flying machines, the epitome of beauty on the wing. —E. Vernon Laux, New York Times, 21 Aug. 2001

Origin of EPITOME

Latin, from Greek epitomē, from epitemnein to cut short, from epi- + temnein to cut — more at tome
First Known Use: 1520

Other Literature Terms

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


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