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Characterizing term or name.
[G. epithetos, added, fr. epi- + tithēmi, to place]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
While you often find epithets in epitaphs, Shoeless Joe's grave marker is a simple bronze plaque with names and dates -- no epithet, no epitaph.
12 The same epithet is given under 'Transgression' (210) and ' Vice' (216).
Black college students are the targets of racial epithets from fellow students.
And the appropriateness of aranging to employ this epithet at this particular moment can be seen in two facts.
During the controversy involving him, Washington also used the epithet backstage at the 2007 Golden Globe awards.
[34] But since Mortimer's epithet also contains a pun on the word "rump," it associates the social transgressiveness of Gaveston's spectacular rise with the nebulous socio-sexual transgressiveness of sodomitical intimacy.
* The State Department announced it has retired the swashbuckling epithet "rogue nation," which was applied to North Korea, Iran, Libya and other US-designated pariahs, in favor of the phrase "states of concern." The department now believes those benighted lands are in recovery based on recent behavior modifications.
The common epithet that is thrown around is `miracle'.
Nonetheless the epithet "masterpiece" still seems, after almost twenty years, deserved.
An early suggested non-poetic epithet was Viagra Falls.
Country bumpkin, in fact, is a placial epithet. Tariffs that enrich industrialists in one part of a nation at the expense of consumers in another might well be placist.
The epithet "you worm" might gain new meaning if researchers are right that two proteins recently found in the brains and spinal cords of chicks are shared by at least one and perhaps many other species.