ep·​i·​graph | \ ˈe-pə-ˌgraf How to pronounce epigraph (audio) \

Definition of epigraph

1 : an engraved inscription
2 : a quotation set at the beginning of a literary work or one of its divisions to suggest its theme

Examples of epigraph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Philip Roth died three years ago, on May 22, 2018, and those instructions to his biographer provide Blake Bailey with his epigraph. Michael Gorra, The New York Review of Books, 23 Mar. 2021 When Teigen posted an Instagram photo of the epigraph on December 2, 2020, Whitaker knew things were about to shift in her life, as well as Teigen’s. Michelle Konstantinovsky, Vogue, 27 Jan. 2021 That’s the epigraph to Penelope Fitzgerald’s astounding short novel, written toward the end of her life about the beginning of his. Hermione Lee, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2021 This declaration might be read as an epigraph for all three books. David L. Ulin, Harper's Magazine, 24 Nov. 2020 Maybe the instructor has included a stirring epigraph or a striking image to distinguish theirs from all the others. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2020 Some critics have wondered about this, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, whom O’Farrell quotes in an epigraph. Diane Scharper, National Review, 20 Aug. 2020 The essay wears an epigraph from Virgil: Deus nobis haec otia fecit. Maggie Nelson, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2020 The quotation appears on Pinterest and Tumblr, in articles and epigraphs. Sarah Fay, Longreads, 17 Mar. 2020

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

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First Known Use of epigraph

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for epigraph

Greek epigraphē, from epigraphein

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The first known use of epigraph was in 1624

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Cite this Entry

“Epigraph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epigraph. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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