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Related to epithet: specific epithet, Transferred epithet


Characterizing term or name.
[G. epithetos, added, fr. epi- + tithēmi, to place]


a. A term used to characterize a person or thing, such as rosy-fingered in rosy-fingered dawn or the Great in Catherine the Great.
b. A term used as a descriptive substitute for the name or title of a person, such as The Great Emancipator for Abraham Lincoln.
2. A disparaging or abusive word or phrase.
3. Biology A word in the scientific name of an organism following the name of the genus and denoting a species, subspecies, variety, or cultivar, as sativa in Lactuca sativa.

ep′i·thet′ic, ep′i·thet′i·cal adj.
References in classic literature ?
But his clever tone did not trouble me; it was his epithet that caused me to prick my ears.
A leetle dipper," I heard the latter say, "and, perhaps, a few eenches - " but I lost the last epithet.
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:--
He was accustomed to say that Papists required an epithet, they were Roman Catholic; but the Church of England was Catholic in the best, the fullest, and the noblest sense of the term.
Napoleon apparently remembered seeing him on the battlefield and, addressing him, again used the epithet "young man" that was connected in his memory with Prince Andrew.
You see, I use the epithet 'my friend' because at a time like this all Frenchmen must forget their differences and work together for the good and honour of their country.
He invariably met her criticisms with a good-natured grin and a flippant remark with some tender epithet tagged on to it.
Epithet after epithet was found too weak to convey to those who have not visited the intertropical regions, the sensation of delight which the mind experiences.
The epithet is very appropriate, for there is something truly divine in being able to argue as you have done for the superiority of injustice, and remaining unconvinced by your own arguments.
Beautiful is an epithet often used in Scripture, and always mentioned with honour.
I went into a cafe to -- and while it was being mixed I asked the man who grabs up your hot Scotch spoon as soon as you lay it down what he undcrstood by the term, epithet, description, designation, characterisation or appellation, viz.
On hearing this tender epithet, Miss Miggs, who had left off screaming when he opened his lips, and had listened to him attentively, began again, crying: 'Oh I'm his lamb