incipit

[in-si-pit; Latin ing-ki-pit]
noun
  1. the introductory words or opening phrases in the text of a medieval manuscript or an early printed book.
  2. Music. the first words of a chanted liturgical text, as that of a Gregorian chant or certain medieval motets.

Origin of incipit

1895–1900; < Latin: (here) begins, 3rd singular present indicative of incipere
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for incipit

Historical Examples of incipit


British Dictionary definitions for incipit

incipit

  1. here begins: used as an introductory word at the beginning of some medieval manuscripts
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 incipit

opening word of a Latin book or manuscript, Latin, literally "(here) begins," third person singular present indicative of incipere (see incipient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper