• synonyms


verb (used with object), e·pit·o·mized, e·pit·o·miz·ing.
  1. to contain or represent in small compass; serve as a typical example of; typify: This meadow epitomizes the beauty of the whole area.
  2. to make an epitome of: to epitomize an argument.
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Also especially British, e·pit·o·mise.

Origin of epitomize

First recorded in 1590–1600; epitom(e) + -ize
Related formse·pit·o·mi·za·tion, noune·pit·o·miz·er, nounun·e·pit·o·mized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for epitomise

Historical Examples of epitomise

  • It always seemed to her to characterise and to epitomise him, that grotesque expression.

    This Freedom

    A. S. M. Hutchinson

  • The actual achievements of Manet epitomise the secondary in art.

  • Nearly 150 of these "Conversations" were written in all, and we epitomise here five of the best-known.

  • He therefore instituted a poetical competition in which each monk was to epitomise in a quatrain the essence of Zen.

    Zen Buddhism

    Arthur Waley

  • To repeat the whole problem as it is put in the Summa, we can epitomise the reasoning of St. Thomas in this easier way.

British Dictionary definitions for epitomise



verb (tr)
  1. to be a personification of; typify
  2. to make an epitome of
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Derived Formsepitomist, nounepitomization or epitomisation, nounepitomizer or epitomiser, 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

Word Origin and History for epitomise


chiefly British English spelling of epitomize. For spelling, see -ize. Related: Epitomising; epitomises.

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1590s, "shorten, condense," from epitome + -ize. Meaning "typify, embody" is from 1620s. Related: Epitomized; epitomizing; epitomizes.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper