ep·​i·​logue | \ ˈe-pə-ˌlȯg How to pronounce epilogue (audio) , -ˌläg \
variants: or less commonly epilog

Definition of epilogue

1 : a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work
2a : a speech often in verse addressed to the audience by an actor at the end of a play also : the actor speaking such an epilogue
b : the final scene of a play that comments on or summarizes the main action
3 : the concluding section of a musical composition : coda

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Did You Know?

From its Greek roots, epilogue means basically "words attached (at the end)". An epilogue often somehow wraps up a story's action, as in the one for a famous Shakespeare play that ends, "For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo". In nonfiction books, we now often use the term afterword instead of epilogue, just as we now generally use foreword instead of prologue. Movies also often have a kind of epilogue--maybe a scene after the exciting climax when the surviving lovers meet in a café to talk about their future. The epilogue of a musical composition, after all the drama is over, is called the coda (Italian for "tail").

Examples of epilogue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The events in the epilogue aren't entirely chronological. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The True Events That Inspired One Night in Miami," 19 Jan. 2021 After the big climax, an epilogue found heroine Diana Prince at the holidays, enjoying a winter wonderland of falling snow, playing children and peace while also being able to move on with her life. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Spoilers! Why 'Wonder Woman 1984' is now and forever officially a Christmas movie," 26 Dec. 2020 The series ended in January 2019 but there has already been a movie and a limited series epilogue. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best TV Shows on HBO Max," 13 Jan. 2021 And yet, Robotham’s epilogue, a series of newspaper stories, shows the far-reaching effects of individual valor. Washington Post, "In ‘The Berlin Girl,’ a British journalist uncovers terrible secrets in 1937 Germany," 15 Dec. 2020 The book’s epilogue is dedicated to comparing the two health crises. Grace Griffin, BostonGlobe.com, "Father-son duo team up in quarantine to write ‘Make Peace or Die: A Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares’," 7 Jan. 2021 In the book’s epilogue, Hawley offers his thoughts on Roosevelt’s lessons for today. Zaid Jilani, Washington Examiner, "Man in the arena," 31 Dec. 2020 That last dramatic tale gets a closer look in an epilogue — maybe sometimes Joyce was too good a storyteller? Washington Post, "The inspiration for Maisie Dobbs? Jacqueline Winspear’s memoir offers charming clues," 10 Nov. 2020 His main recollection of that day in the Georgia Dome was Tebow’s emotional epilogue. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "The time a young Mac Jones met his idol, Tim Tebow," 15 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epilogue.' 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 epilogue

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for epilogue

Middle English epiloge, from Middle French epilogue, from Latin epilogus, from Greek epilogos, from epilegein to say in addition, from epi- + legein to say — more at legend

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Time Traveler for epilogue

Time Traveler

The first known use of epilogue was in the 15th century

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Statistics for epilogue

Last Updated

6 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Epilogue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epilogue. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of epilogue

: a final section or speech after the main part of a book, play, or musical composition

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