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1. An inscription, as on a statue or building.
2. A motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme.

[Greek epigraphē, from epigraphein, to write on; see epigram.]

ep′i·graph′ic, ep′i·graph′i·cal adj.
ep′i·graph′i·cal·ly adv.


(ˈɛpɪˌɡrɑːf; -ˌɡræf)
1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc, suggesting its theme
2. an inscription on a monument or building
[C17: from Greek epigraphē; see epigram]
epigraphic, ˌepiˈgraphical adj
ˌepiˈgraphically adv


(ˈɛp ɪˌgræf)

1. an inscription, esp. on a building, statue, etc.
2. an apposite quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc.
[1615–25; < Greek epigraphḗ inscription. See epi-, -graph]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.epigraph - a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing
quotation, quote, citation - a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
2.epigraph - an engraved inscription
inscription, lettering - letters inscribed (especially words engraved or carved) on something


[ˈepɪgrɑːf] Nepígrafe m


nEpigraf nt, → Inschrift f; (at beginning of book, chapter) → Motto nt, → Sinnspruch m


[ˈɛpɪˌgrɑːf] nepigrafe f
References in classic literature ?
The count seized it hastily, his eyes immediately fell upon the epigraph, and he read, "`Thou shalt tear out the dragons' teeth, and shall trample the lions under foot, saith the Lord.
And here the book's epigraph and the reconstruction on the jacket of the sundial Don Emanuel hoped to install at his palace, had his errant life and the Savoias' perpetual financial difficulties ever permitted him to settle down, provide a clue.
Then it offers an epigraph from Julien Benda: "Understanding that the initial definition of my subject should, while being brief, also be of such rich potential that all the parts of the work would be mere offshoots of it, I spent a long time looking for it; the first sentence of Belphegor took me years.
These truths about ghosts, ancestors, history, and narrative are affirmed in a straightforward way by the novel's epigraph, a citation from Romans 9:25: I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
This is what Justice Khosa's dissenting note said: 'The popular 1969 novel 'The Godfather' by Mario Puzo recounted the violent tale of a Mafia family and the epigraph selected by the author was fascinating: Behind every great fortune there is a crime,' wrote Justice Khosa.
Chilean poet and artist Carmen Berenguer lets poetry, prose, epigraph, and design run together--almost.
While Scott in his edition says of the second epigraph that "the sentiment occurs" in Alfred de Musset's dramatic poem La coupe et les levres (1831), "Doutez, si vous voulez, de l'etre qui vous aime, / D'une femme ou d'un chien, mais non de l'amour meme," (3) the epigraph's specific source has remained a mystery (4)--but one that may now be deemed solved.
Prynne initiated the correspondence by writing to Olson in November 1961 in search of work for Prospect, a small literary magazine published in Cambridge, England, says Dobran, and also closed it with a dedicatory epigraph to Fire Lizard, a short poem sequence written on New Year's Day 1970 that reached Olson just days before his death.
From the epigraph, it is clear that the two are opposites when it comes to how they present themselves.
The problem is to decide whether the objects of machine production can possess the essential qualities of art," wrote Herbert Read in 1934's Art and Industry, a sentence reprinted in an epigraph (one of three) in Digital Handmade (Thames & Hudson).
The epigraph of Summerlong--a quote from Kazuo Ishiguru--is a fitting opening for this story of a disenchanted couple.