Definitions for epithetˈɛp əˌθɛt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word epithet

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ep•i•thetˈɛp əˌθɛt(n.)

  1. a characterizing word or phrase added to or used in place of the name of a person or thing.

  2. a word, phrase, or expression used invectively as a term of abuse or contempt.

Origin of epithet:

1570–80; < L epitheton epithet, adjective < Gk epítheton epithet, something added



Princeton's WordNet

  1. name, epithet(noun)

    a defamatory or abusive word or phrase

  2. epithet(noun)

    descriptive word or phrase


  1. epithet(Noun)

    A term used to characterize a person or thing.

  2. epithet(Noun)

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

  3. epithet(Noun)

    An abusive or contemptuous word or phrase.

  4. epithet(Noun)

    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.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Epithet(noun)

    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. Epithet(noun)

    term; expression; phrase

  3. Epithet(verb)

    to describe by an epithet


  1. Epithet

    An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It can be described as a glorified nickname. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It can also be a descriptive title: for example, Alexander the Great. In contemporary usage, epithet often refers to an abusive, defamatory, or derogatory phrase, such as a racial epithet or as in economics, "the dismal science". The less offensive use is criticized by Martin Manser and other prescriptive linguists.


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