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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce epithet (audio)

Dictionary definition of epithet

A descriptive word or phrase that is often used to characterize or describe a person, place, thing, or concept in a concise and evocative manner.
"The epithet 'The Bard' is commonly used to refer to William Shakespeare."

Detailed meaning of epithet

Typically, an epithet highlights a specific quality, attribute, or characteristic of the subject it is associated with, helping to create a vivid and memorable image or impression. Epithets are commonly employed in literature, poetry, and rhetoric to enhance the depth and imagery of language. They serve to emphasize particular traits or aspects of the subject, offering insight into its nature or reinforcing a particular theme or mood. For example, in Homer's "The Odyssey," the character Odysseus is often referred to as "wily Odysseus," with "wily" serving as an epithet that underscores his cunning and resourcefulness. Epithets, therefore, play a valuable role in creative expression and communication by imbuing language with layers of meaning and imagery.

Example sentences containing epithet

1. "The Great Emancipator" is an epithet often used for Abraham Lincoln.
2. The media frequently uses the epithet "The City of Angels" for Los Angeles.
3. "The Bard of Avon" is a famous epithet for William Shakespeare.
4. Winston Churchill earned the epithet "The British Bulldog" for his resolve.
5. "The Father of the Nation" is a revered epithet for Mahatma Gandhi.
6. "The Iron Lady" is a well-known epithet for Margaret Thatcher.

History and etymology of epithet

The noun 'epithet' has its origins in ancient Greek, where 'epitheton' meant 'something added' or 'attributed.' It is derived from 'epi-' meaning 'upon' or 'added to' and 'thetos' meaning 'placed' or 'attributed.' The etymology of 'epithet' reflects its role as a descriptive word or phrase that is added to a person, place, thing, or concept to characterize or describe it in a concise and evocative manner. In literature and language, epithets serve as a way to enhance descriptions by highlighting specific qualities or attributes. This concept has been used in various cultures and languages throughout history to create vivid and memorable expressions that capture the essence of what they describe.

Quiz: Find the meaning of epithet

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Further usage examples of epithet

1. "The King of Pop" is a beloved epithet for Michael Jackson.
2. The athlete's speed earned him the epithet "The Fastest Man on Earth."
3. "The Queen of Soul" is a cherished epithet for Aretha Franklin.
4. "The Red Planet" is a common epithet for Mars in astronomy.
5. In mythology, Zeus is often referred to with the epithet "The Thunderer."
6. The historic figure was known by the epithet "The Father of Modern Physics."
7. "The Eternal City" is a poetic epithet for Rome.
8. The politician's charisma earned him the epithet "The People's Champion."
9. "The Windy City" is a famous epithet for Chicago.
10. The warrior was given the epithet "The Lionheart" for his bravery in battle.
11. The king was known by the epithet "The Wise" due to his fair and intelligent rule.
12. The epithet "Land of the Rising Sun" is often used to refer to Japan.
13. The newspaper was criticized for using a derogatory epithet to describe the politician.
14. The poet earned the epithet "The Bard of Avon" as he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon.
15. In ancient times, rulers often had an epithet attached to their names to signify a particular quality or achievement.
16. The author received the epithet "Queen of Mystery" for her thrilling detective novels.
17. He was nicknamed with the epithet "Flash" because of his incredible speed on the track.
18. The city of New Orleans is often affectionately referred to by the epithet "The Big Easy."
19. In mythology, the goddess Athena carries the epithet "Pallas," and is often referred to as Pallas Athena.
20. The athlete was unhappy with the epithet the media had given him, as he felt it was mocking.
21. Alexander the Great is an example of an historical figure whose epithet reflects his conquests and achievements.
22. The epithet "The Windy City" is commonly associated with Chicago, though it does not always refer to the weather.
23. The epithet "The City of Light" is often used to describe Paris, especially at night when the city is illuminated.
24. In literature, characters are sometimes given epithets that recur throughout the text, such as "swift-footed Achilles" in Homer's Iliad.



label, misnomer, inaccuracy, mislabel


Analytical and Interpretive, Interaction and Articulation, Creativity and Originality, Words and Language, Language and Expression 1

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