- a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.
- a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person.
- to commemorate in or with an epitaph.
Origin of epitaph
Examples from the Web for epitaph
When he ended Vieux Carré with the stage direction, “The house is empty now,” Lahr somberly terms it “an augury and an epitaph.”John Lahr’s Biography Perfectly Captures Tennessee Williams’ Tortured Greatness
September 25, 2014
So he entitled one of his earlier books, thus already authoring his own epitaph.Christopher Hitchens: A Young Contrarian Salutes Him
December 18, 2011
He was buried at Dublin, with an epitaph recording his cowardice.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
He closes the letter by saying, "There's a poem for you; it is rather too long for an epitaph."Concerning Cats
Helen M. Winslow
But, now, the memory of it has been awakened within me by you, and I have read you its epitaph.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
He was also asked to write an epitaph on John Frederick Roorbach.The Politician Out-Witted
The most beautiful thing he has done—to my mind—is his epitaph.My Contemporaries In Fiction
David Christie Murray
- a commemorative inscription on a tombstone or monument
- a speech or written passage composed in commemoration of a dead person
- a final judgment on a person or thing
Word Origin and History for epitaph
mid-14c., from Old French epitaphe (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin epitaphium "funeral oration, eulogy," from Greek epitaphion "a funeral oration," noun use of neuter of epitaphos "of a funeral," from epi "at, over" (see epi-) + taphos "tomb, funeral rites," from PIE root *dhembh- "to bury." Among the Old English equivalents was byrgelsleoð.