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epic

[ep-ik]
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adjective Also ep·i·cal.
  1. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
  2. resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.
  3. heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.
  4. of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions.
  5. Slang. spectacular; very impressive; awesome: Their burgers and fries are epic!
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adverb
  1. Slang. very; extremely: That's an epic cool video!
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noun
  1. an epic poem.
  2. epic poetry.
  3. any composition resembling an epic.
  4. something worthy to form the subject of an epic: The defense of the Alamo is an American epic.
  5. (initial capital letter) Also called Old Ionic. the Greek dialect represented in the Iliad and the Odyssey, apparently Aeolic modified by Ionic.
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Origin of epic

1580–90; < Latin epicus < Greek epikós. See epos, -ic
Related formsep·i·cal·ly, adverbep·ic·like, adjectivenon·ep·ic, adjective, nounnon·ep·i·cal, adjectivenon·ep·i·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·ep·ic, adjective, nounsem·i·ep·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·ep·i·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·ep·ic, adjective, nounun·ep·ic, adjective
Can be confusedepic epoch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for epics

epic

noun
  1. a long narrative poem recounting in elevated style the deeds of a legendary hero, esp one originating in oral folk tradition
  2. the genre of epic poetry
  3. any work of literature, film, etc, having heroic deeds for its subject matter or having other qualities associated with the epica Hollywood epic
  4. an episode in the lives of men in which heroic deeds are performed or attemptedthe epic of Scott's expedition to the South Pole
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adjective
  1. denoting, relating to, or characteristic of an epic or epics
  2. of heroic or impressive proportionsan epic voyage
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos speech, word, song
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for epics

epic

adj.

1580s, perhaps via Middle French épique or directly from Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos "word, story, poem," from PIE *wekw- "to speak" (see voice). Extended sense of "grand, heroic" first recorded in English 1731. The noun meaning "an epic poem" is first recorded 1706.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

epics in Culture

epic

A long narrative poem written in elevated style, in which heroes of great historical or legendary importance perform valorous deeds. The setting is vast in scope, covering great nations, the world, or the universe, and the action is important to the history of a nation or people. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid are some great epics from world literature, and two great epics in English are Beowulf and Paradise Lost.

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Note

Figuratively, any task of great magnitude may be called “epic,” as in an “epic feat” or an “epic undertaking.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.