[in-si-pit; Latin ing-ki-pit]
- the introductory words or opening phrases in the text of a medieval manuscript or an early printed book.
- 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
The title runs thus: Incipit liber qui vocatur Speculum Xpristiani.
Begins: Incipit prohemium de proprietatibus rerum fratris bartholomei anglici de ordine fratrum minorum.Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution
She got up early the next morning, and wrote in her diary, "Incipit vita nova!"The Devourers
Annie Vivanti Chartres
The second contains forty-one chapters: Incipit accessus ad tractatum de corpore Christi.The Grey Friars in Oxford
Andrew G. Little
Incipit tamen plebs paulatim illorum ignaviam et tyrannidem verbo Dei agnoscere.History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Volume III
J. H. Merle D'Aubign
- here begins: used as an introductory word at the beginning of some medieval manuscripts
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