Definition of Epithet

1. Noun. A defamatory or abusive word or phrase.

Exact synonyms: Name
Generic synonyms: Calumniation, Calumny, Defamation, Hatchet Job, Obloquy, Traducement
Specialized synonyms: Smear Word

2. Noun. Descriptive word or phrase.

Definition of Epithet

1. n. An adjective expressing some quality, attribute, or relation, that is properly or specially appropriate to a person or thing; as, a just man; a verdant lawn.

2. v. t. To describe by an epithet.

Definition of Epithet

1. Noun. A term used to characterize a person or thing. ¹

2. Noun. A term used as a descriptive substitute for the name or title of a person. ¹

3. Noun. An abusive or contemptuous word or phrase. ¹

4. Noun. (biology) A word in the scientific name of a taxon following the name of the genus or species. This applies only to formal names of plants, fungi and bacteria. In formal names of animals the corresponding term is the specific name. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Epithet

1. a term used to characterize a person or thing [n -S]

Medical Definition of Epithet

1. 1. An adjective expressing some quality, attribute, or relation, that is properly or specially appropriate to a person or thing; as, a just man; a verdant lawn. "A prince [Henry III] to whom the epithet "worthless" seems best applicable." (Hallam) 2. Term; expression; phrase. "Stiffed with epithets of war." Synonym: Epithet, Title. The name epithet was formerly extended to nouns which give a title or describe character (as the "epithet of liar"), but is now confined wholly to adjectives. Some rhetoricians, as Whately, restrict it still further, considering the term epithet as belonging only to a limited class of adjectives, viz, those which add nothing to the sense of their noun, but simply hold forth some quality necessarily implied therein; as, the bright sun, the lofty heavens, etc. But this restriction does not prevail in general literature. Epithet is sometimes confounded with application, which is always a noun or its equivalent. Origin: L. Epitheton, Gr, fr. Added, fr. To add; upon, to + to put, place: cf. F. Epithete. See Do. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Epithet Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Epithet

epithermal chemistry
epithet (current term)

Literary usage of Epithet

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Crabb's English Synonyms by George Crabb (1917)
"epithet, ADJECTIVE. epithet is the technical term of the rhetorician; adjective that of the grammarian. The same word is an epithet as it qualifies the ..."

2. Lectures on Jurisprudence, Or, The Philosophy of Positive Law by John Austin (1885)
"By the two examples which I have now adduced, I am led Tlie mean- to consider the meanings of the epithet unconstitutional, as it is ">K* of the ..."

3. The Iliad of Homer by Homer (1796)
"For example, the epithet of Apollo, !x«£oA<;?, ... inimitably beautiful, is Fenton's variation of the permanent epithet of Minerva, azure or blue-eyed, ..."

4. A History of Criticism and Literary Taste in Europe from the Earliest Texts by George Saintsbury (1908)
"The Stock epithet 'wo habits which seem to be mainly aimed at here and peri- (Alcidamas is still the chief awful example) are the ..."

5. Sobriquets and Nicknames by Albert Romer Frey (1887)
"An epithet which was given to Gabriel Harvey. Nash says it was bestowed on him while at college, ... An epithet conferred on Gabriel Harvey by Thomas Nash. ..."

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