1

epic

play
adjective ep·ic \ˈe-pik\

Definition of epic

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an epic <an epic poem>

  2. 2 a :  extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope <his genius was epicTimes Literary Supplement> b :  heroic

epical

play \-pi-kəl\ adjective

epically

play \-pi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of epic in a sentence

  1. The football game was an epic battle between two great teams.

  2. The bridge was an epic achievement.

  3. The company is engaged in an epic struggle for survival.

  4. an accomplishment of epic proportions

Does epic mean "impressive" or just "big"?

When epic began to be used as an adjective in English it was in specific reference to the characteristics of the type of poem that bears the same name. A couple of centuries passed, and the word’s meaning came to describe other kinds of works, aside from poetry, which had similarly grand characteristics. More recently, epic has been found used in a highly colloquial fashion, in a manner that is largely synonymous with outstanding, fabulous, or impressive. Before you pass judgment on whether this new sense of epic is acceptable to you or not, you might want to consider that all the words that this sense is synonymous with have also changed their meanings dramatically: outstanding originally described something that projected or stuck out, fabulous had to do with fables, and impressive used to mean “capable of being impressed.”

Origin and Etymology of epic

Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos word, speech, poem — more at voice


First Known Use: 1589


2

epic

noun ep·ic

Definition of epic

  1. 1 :  a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero <the Iliad and the Odyssey are epics>

  2. 2 :  a work of art (as a novel or drama) that resembles or suggests an epic

  3. 3 :  a series of events or body of legend or tradition thought to form the proper subject of an epic <the epic of the winning of the West>

Examples of epic in a sentence

  1. Homer's ancient Greek epic The Odyssey.

1706

First Known Use of epic

1706


EPIC Defined for English Language Learners

1

epic

play
adjective ep·ic \ˈe-pik\

Definition of epic for English Language Learners

  • : telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures

  • : very great or large and usually difficult or impressive


2

epic

noun ep·ic

Definition of epic for English Language Learners

  • : a long poem that tells the story of a hero's adventures

  • : a long book, movie, etc., that usually tells a story about exciting events or adventures


EPIC Defined for Kids

1

epic

play
noun ep·ic \ˈe-pik\

Definition of epic for Students

  1. :  a long poem that tells the story of a hero's deeds


2

epic

play
adjective ep·ic

Definition of epic for Students

  1. 1 :  telling a great and heroic story <an epic poem>

  2. 2 :  heroic or impressive because of great size or effort <A large crowd … had gathered to witness the epic ascent. — Brian Jacques, Redwall>



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