[ ep-i-graf, -grahf ]
/ ˈɛp ɪˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf /


an inscription, especially on a building, statue, or the like.
an apposite quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc.

Origin of epigraph

First recorded in 1615–25, epigraph is from the Greek word epigraphḗ inscription. See epi-, -graph

Can be confused

epigram epigraph epitaph epithet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for epigraph

British Dictionary definitions for epigraph


/ (ˈɛpɪˌɡrɑːf, -ˌɡræf) /


a quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc, suggesting its theme
an inscription on a monument or building

Derived Forms

epigraphic (ˌɛpɪˈɡræfɪk) or epigraphical, adjectiveepigraphically, adverb

Word Origin for epigraph

C17: from Greek epigraphē; see epigram
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