epilogue

play
noun ep·i·logue \ˈe-pə-ˌlȯg, -ˌläg\
variants: or less commonly

epilog

Definition of epilogue

  1. 1 :  a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work

  2. 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 epilogueb :  the final scene of a play that comments on or summarizes the main action

  3. 3 :  the concluding section of a musical composition :  coda

Recent Examples of epilogue from the Web

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.

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").

Origin and Etymology of 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


EPILOGUE Defined for English Language Learners

epilogue

play
noun

Definition of epilogue for English Language Learners

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up epilogue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

cleverly stylish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!