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

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 book episode, Franco writes, was something of the final straw and an epilogue to the Vigano debacle, both of which saw Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, Benedict's longtime secretary, as a key behind-the-scenes player. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 In the book’s epilogue, Assil reflects on her former partnership with famed chef Daniel Patterson, the start of the pandemic and her path to a worker-ownership model. Reem Assil, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Apr. 2022 By the epilogue’s final pages, the narrator realizes it’s his own responsibility to build on a dense web of influences and develop a unique identity worth acting upon. Annie Abrams, The New Republic, 30 Mar. 2022 Quinn's second epilogue takes place much later after the events of The Viscount Who Loved Me, whereas the show's last scene is just six months after everything goes down. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 25 Mar. 2022 In an epilogue, Vanasse describes the recovery of the Pribilof seal population and the privations of the Unangax people who were left in dire conditions during the moratorium. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Apr. 2022 As reported by Brandon in an epilogue to her book, Duchamp married an unprepossessing rich woman in 1927, in Paris, with Picabia as best man. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 Ballard gets to fulfill a lifelong dream at virtually no personal cost, and Jorgensen found a way to script a fitting epilogue to her time at the store: securing a successor. Daedan Olander, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Feb. 2022 This epilogue-like conversation — along with the prickly dynamic between these two hurting characters, both of whom, it is made clear, are carrying around their own private tempests — feel oddly static, even anticlimactic. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Epilogue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epilogue. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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