ekphrasis was our Word of the Day on 12/21/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of ekphrasis from the Web
The performance was a kind of call and response, or ekphrasis, with lyrics and chords inspired by Lethem's prose.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ekphrasis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Although "ekphrasis" (also spelled "ecphrasis") is a relatively new entry in our dictionary, the practice of using words to comment on a piece of visual art is an ancient one. One of the earliest and most commonly cited forms of ekphrasis occurs in The Iliad, when Homer provides a long and discursive account of the elaborate scenes embossed on the shield of Achilles. It should be no surprise, then, that the term ekphrasis derives from Greek, where it literally means "description" and was formed by combining the prefix ex- ("out") with the verb "phrazein" ("to point out or explain"). "Ekphrasis" first appeared in English in the early 18th century.
Origin and Etymology of ekphrasis
First Known Use: 1715See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
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