[ ep-i-taf, -tahf ]
See synonyms for: epitaphepitaphs on Thesaurus.com

  1. a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.

  2. a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person.

verb (used with object)
  1. to commemorate in or with an epitaph.

Origin of epitaph

1350–1400; Middle English epitaphe<Latin epitaphium<Greek epitáphion over or at a tomb, equivalent to epi-epi- + táph(os) tomb + -ion noun, adj. suffix

Other words from epitaph

  • ep·i·taph·ic [ep-i-taf-ik], /ˌɛp ɪˈtæf ɪk/, adjective
  • ep·i·taph·ist, noun
  • ep·i·taph·less, adjective
  • un·ep·i·taphed, adjective

Words that may be confused with epitaph

Words Nearby epitaph

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use epitaph in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for epitaph


/ (ˈɛpɪˌtɑːf, -ˌtæf) /

  1. a commemorative inscription on a tombstone or monument

  2. a speech or written passage composed in commemoration of a dead person

  1. a final judgment on a person or thing

Origin of epitaph

C14: via Latin from Greek epitaphion, from epitaphios over a tomb, from epi- + taphos tomb

Derived forms of epitaph

  • epitaphic (ˌɛpɪˈtæfɪk), adjective
  • epitaphist, noun

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