Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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.
The chapter's other epigraph is a quotation from the work of Richard McCormick, a leading proportionalist thinker.
The prefectural government then insisted that the epigraph should just say the vessel was just ''struck'' by the Greeneville but the association said such wording would have sounded as if the sub struck the Ehime Maru intentionally, they said.
Yet these last lines of the poem aren't quite its end, because that "love" circles us back to the poem's epigraph, which is a line from Brother Louis himself: "Your true and only Son is love.
There is no "for Wally" here, and the book's epigraph, from Hart Crane's poem "Reply," is not a lament for desire's passing, but an affirmation of desire's power: "Thou canst read nothing except through appetite.
Yet he finds it possible to do so in the spirit of his epigraph to the book: "We overcome not by winning but by endurance.
This is most evident in chapter nine, "Divided We Stand," subtitled "The Racial and Gender Status Quo" The words she chose as this chapter's epigraph were written by Antonio Gramsci, the unidentified founder of the Italian Communist Party: "The old is dying, and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum there arises a great diversity of morbid Symptoms.
Referring to one small mystery he encountered as a KGB spook, Shvets writes, "'You never know'--these three words would be an appropriate epigraph to a truthful book about an intelligence service.
In coordination with this release, Epigraph announced the launch of The Log, Pacific-Sierra's first publication to officially introduce the solution.
This, the latest product of the long German love affair with Rome, revealingly carries an epigraph from Goethe's wonderful Italian Journey: 'No one who has not been here can have any conception of what an education Rome is'.
This English edition has been translated by Shen Yuping and is distributed in the US by Epigraph Publishing.