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Epithet Definition

Adjective expressing quality or attribute. Homer frequently linked adjectives and nouns to create epithets e.g. 'swift-footed Achilles' or 'rosy-fingered dawn'.

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Other Epithet Definition

[n] a defamatory or abusive word or phrase; "sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me"
[n] descriptive word or phrase



Misc. Definitions

\Ep"i*thet\, n. [L. epitheton, Gr. ?, fr. ? added, fr. ? to add; 'epi` upon, to + ? to put, place: cf. F. ['e]pith[`e]te. See {Do}.]
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.'' --Shak. Syn: {Epithet}, {Title}. Usage: 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.
\Ep"i*thet\, v. t. To describe by an epithet. [R.] Never was a town better epitheted. --Sir H. Wotton.

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