epilogue

noun
ep·i·logue | \ˈe-pə-ˌlȯg, -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 rest of his story gets relegated to a spooky epilogue, which shows him in that facility at some much later moment. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 10: What Is Real?," 25 June 2018 Bookended by a foreword (Paul Berman) and an epilogue (Juan Gonzalez), the collection suffers from the absent perspective of Columbia’s embattled administrators at the time. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "‘A Time to Stir’ Evokes the Zeal of Columbia’s 1968 Protests," 17 Jan. 2018 Understanding Gilead's rise primes the show's audience for its eventual fall - which Atwood foreshadowed in her novel's epilogue. 3. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "We survived another grueling season of 'The Handmaid's Tale,' but here are 3 things we need from Season 3," 12 July 2018 As Krist acknowledges in his epilogue, Los Angeles too has moved on to become the multicultural world city of today. Leo Braudy, New York Times, "Los Angeles as the City of Dreams, and Nightmares," 1 June 2018 Understanding Gilead's rise primes the show's audience for its eventual fall - which Atwood foreshadowed in her novel's epilogue. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "We survived another grueling season of 'The Handmaid's Tale,' but here are 3 things we need from Season 3," 12 July 2018 Scholars transcribed the tapes and studied their contents, and in the epilogue, a male professor gives a talk on them at a university conference several decades into the future. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Week's Grueling Handmaid's Tale Is A One-Woman Show," 27 June 2018 The rescissions package is the epilogue to March’s spending saga, when Mr. Trump threatened to veto the congressional omnibus and pledged never to sign such a bill again. Mark Walker, WSJ, "Start Cutting Spending—and Don’t Stop," 8 May 2018 This ties into the epilogue of the book, in which author Margaret Atwood reveals that the story is actually a collection of tapes made by Offred detailing her time in the Waterford household. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Week's Grueling Handmaid's Tale Is A One-Woman Show," 27 June 2018

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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Statistics for epilogue

Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for epilogue

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

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More Definitions for epilogue

epilogue

noun

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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