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Word of the Day -- 5.5.15

Posted by on May. 5, 2015 at 2:42 PM
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Word of the Day

epigram

audio pronunciation
May 05, 2015

noun
\EP-ih-gram\

Definition
1
: a concise poem dealing pointedly and often satirically with a single thought or event and often ending with an ingenious turn of thought

2
: a terse, sage, or witty and often paradoxical saying

3
: expression marked by the use of epigrams

Examples
On the wall of his studio, Jonathan kept a framed print of his favorite epigram from Benjamin Franklin: "Little strokes fell great oaks."

"But this is a work that tends to rely on pithy epigrams, rather than build a sturdy narrative arc about a young artist's awakening and an old artist's raging against the dying of the light." — Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune, February 13, 2015


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Did You Know?

Ancient Greeks and Romans used the word epigramma (from Greek epigraphein, meaning "to write on") to refer to a concise, witty, and often satirical verse. The Roman poet Martial (who published eleven books of these epigrammata, or epigrams, between the years 86 and 98 C.E.) was a master of the form: "You puff the poets of other days, / the living you deplore. / Spare me the accolade: your praise / Is not worth dying for." English speakers adopted the "verse" sense of the word when we first used epigram for a concise poem dealing pointedly and often satirically with a single thought or event in the 15th century. In the late 18th century, we began using epigram for concise, witty sayings, even if they didn't rhyme.

Test Your Vocabulary: Fill in the blanks to create a word for a short, pithy, and instructive saying or formulation: ap _ _ he _ m.

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by on May. 5, 2015 at 2:42 PM
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