What is epithet?

  • (noun): Descriptive word or phrase.
    See also — Additional definitions below


An epithet (from Ancient Greek: ἐπίθετον epitheton, neut. of ἐπίθετος epithetos, "attributed, added") or byname is a descriptive term (word or phrase) accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title. For example, Alexander the Great.

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Some articles on epithet:

Cult Of Dionysus - Appellations
... Dionysus sometimes has the epithet Acratophorus, by which he was designated as the giver of unmixed wine, and worshipped at Phigaleia in Arcadia ... As Bacchus, he carried the Latin epithet Adoneus, "Ruler" ... Another epithet was Bromios, "the thunderer" or "he of the loud shout" ...
Epithet - Alternative Contemporary Usage
... In contemporary usage, epithet may also refer to an abusive, defamatory, or derogatory phrase, such as a racial epithet or as in 'the dismal science' ...
Makurakotoba - Foreign Equivalences
... be found in other languages under the category of “epithet” ... There are different types of epithets, some as a standard epithet, some as a common epithet or a stock epithet ... In Persian texts, there are several epithets commonly used ...
Ali Ibn Abi Bakr Al-Harawi - Epithet
... He asked that the following epithet be written on his tombstone "Lived as a stranger, died a loner, no friend to eulogize him, no beloved to weep over ...
Gorgythion - Name and Description
... is described as beautiful, and his epithet is the blameless ... Jane Ellen Harrison pointed out that "blameless" (άμύμων) was an epithet of the heroized dead, who were venerated and appeased at shrines ... Zeus even applies the epithet to Aegisthus, the usurper, Harrison observes ...

More definitions of "epithet":

  • (noun): A defamatory or abusive word or phrase.
    Synonyms: name

Famous quotes containing the word epithet:

    The truth is, that common-sense, or thought as it first emerges above the level of the narrowly practical, is deeply imbued with that bad logical quality to which the epithet metaphysical is commonly applied; and nothing can clear it up but a severe course of logic.
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914)

    I think I have done well, if I have acquired a new word from a good author; and my business with him is to find my own, though it were only to melt him down into an epithet or an image for daily use.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)