epithet was our Word of the Day on 01/05/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of epithet in a Sentence
His charitable works have earned him the epithet “Mr. Philanthropy.”
Many were offended by her use of racial epithets.
a group of angry people hurling epithets at one another
Recent Examples of epithet from the Web
Allegations, reported by Sports Illustrated, include Richardson making suggestive comments to female Panthers employees and using a racial epithet in addressing an African-American scout.
What if, for example, a video surfaces showing the president in bed with Russian prostitutes, or another politician shouting a racial epithet?
At one point, toward the end of the approximately 24 minute video, the women can be seen berating an unidentified man, who comes out from the mosque, with insults and epithets.
In their first meeting, Tutu, who has already been shown to be a preternaturally patient man of faith, is confronted by a man who grinningly hurls racial epithets at him and scoffs at the archbishop’s attempts to salvage his soul.
Officers located a man yelling at his neighbors through vents about being called racial epithets.
Broshears also began using racial epithets—a strange thing for a civil rights leader to do.
New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait argued that neoliberalism has been rendered meaningless by excessive use as a pejorative epithet.
In fact, government officials, trying to garner support and shift the public focus away from the war’s realities, promoted the myth that antiwar protesters aimed that epithet at veterans.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epithet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Nowadays, "epithet" is usually used negatively, with the meaning "a derogatory word or phrase," but it wasn't always that way. "Epithet" comes to us via Latin from the Greek noun epitheton and ultimately derives from epitithenai, meaning "to put on" or "to add." In its oldest sense, an "epithet" is simply a descriptive word or phrase, especially one joined by fixed association to the name of someone or something (as in "Peter the Great" or the stock Homeric phrases "gray-eyed Athena" and "wine-dark sea"). Alternatively, epithets may be used in place of a name (as in "the Peacemaker" or "the Eternal"). These neutral meanings of "epithet" are still in use, but today the word is more often used in its negative "term of disparagement" sense.
EPITHET Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of epithet for English Language Learners
: a word or phrase that describes a person or thing
: an offensive word or name that is used as a way of abusing or insulting someone
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