epithet(redirected from epithetic)
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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.