epilogue

noun

ep·​i·​logue ˈe-pə-ˌlȯg How to pronounce epilogue (audio)
-ˌläg
variants or less commonly epilog
1
: a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work
2
a
: 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

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 That epilogue was a last-minute addition to the movie after some test screenings for audiences, Mann says. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 15 June 2024 Several of the videos were recorded by the killer on his cellphone from inside Henderson’s home, giving jurors a frightening digital epilogue of Henderson's final moments. Chris Ramirez, Journal Sentinel, 10 June 2024 Steven Universe is a wonderful show, and this movie is a nice epilogue to its legacy. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 3 June 2024 Her career kicked off in the late 1940s and lasted all the way through a reunion with Trintignant in The Best Years (Les Plus belles annees), Lelouch’s 2019 epilogue to A Man and a Woman. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for epilogue 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'epilogue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near epilogue

Cite this Entry

“Epilogue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epilogue. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

epilogue

noun
ep·​i·​logue
variants also epilog
1
: a final section that brings to an end and summarizes or comments on the action or characters of a story
2
: a speech often in verse addressed to the audience by an actor at the end of a play
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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