ep·​i·​gone ˈe-pə-ˌgōn How to pronounce epigone (audio)
: follower, disciple
also : an inferior imitator
epigonic adjective
or epigonous
epigonism noun

Did you know?

English borrowed "epigone" from German in the 19th century. The Germans themselves had taken the word from the Latin epigonus, which means "successor." The Latin term followed the Greek epigonos, which was often used in plural to designate the sons of seven legendary Greek leaders who were defeated at Thebes. "Epigonos" in turn came from the Greek verb epigignesthai, meaning "to be born after." "Epi-" can mean "after," and gignesthai means "to be born."

Example Sentences

few of director Alfred Hitchcock's many epigones possess quite the same wit or style as the master
Recent Examples on the Web Ms. Yamaguchi is an heir of Tamara de Lempicka, epigone of Art Deco figuration. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 13 July 2017 That became the conventional wisdom once their stateside epigones took up the cry. Tom Carson, New York Times, 1 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epigone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


German, from Latin epigonus successor, from Greek epigonos, from epigignesthai to be born after, from epi- + gignesthai to be born — more at kin

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of epigone was in 1865


Dictionary Entries Near epigone

Cite this Entry

“Epigone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epigone. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

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