Epigram Definition

Poetry Definition of Epigram

A very short, ironic and witty poem usually written as a brief couplet or quatrain. The term is derived from the Greek epigramma meaning inscription.


Here lies my wife: here let her lie!
Now she's at rest — and so am I.
— John Dryden

I am His Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
— Alexander Pope

Little strokes
Fell great oaks.
— Benjamin Franklin

Top 5 Epigram Poem Examples

PMPoem TitlePoetFormCategories
Premium Member Poem FEELINGS Trifiatis, Demetrios Epigramimagination, introspection, on writing
Premium Member Poem LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS Trifiatis, Demetrios Epigramchristmas, light, love,
Premium Member Poem THIRST FOR LOVE Trifiatis, Demetrios Epigramkiss, love, romance,
Premium Member Poem AN ADDITIONAL REASON Trifiatis, Demetrios Epigramgod, thank you,
Premium Member Poem AS PURE AS POSSIBLE Trifiatis, Demetrios Epigramgod, judgement,

Standard Definition

[n] a witty saying

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See Also...

expression, locution, saying

Misc. Definitions

\Ep"i*gram\, n. [L. epigramma, fr. Gr. ? inscription, epigram, fr. ? to write upon, 'epi` upon + ? to write: cf. F. ['e]pigramme. See {Graphic}.]
1. A short poem treating concisely and pointedly of a single thought or event. The modern epigram is so contrived as to surprise the reader with a witticism or ingenious turn of thought, and is often satirical in character. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? --Shak. Note: Epigrams were originally inscription on tombs, statues, temples, triumphal arches, etc.
2. An effusion of wit; a bright thought tersely and sharply expressed, whether in verse or prose.
3. The style of the epigram. Antithesis, i. e., bilateral stroke, is the soul of epigram in its later and technical signification. --B. Cracroft.

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