epic

An epic is a long poem or other work of art celebrating heroic feats. After you sail around the world for seven years, fighting corruption and planting vegetable gardens, some poet will surely write the epic of your adventures.

Epic comes from the Greek for song, because Greek poets like Homer sung their poems. We tend to use epic for long, ambitious novels or movies, especially if they involve a long journey. Epic can be used as an adjective to describe something historically important, lasting and complex. Perhaps your great-grandfather was a soldier in the epic struggle of World War One. Your three day, sleepless card poker game could be described as epic.

Primary Meanings of epic

1.
nadj
a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic
2.
adj
very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)
Full Definitions of epic
1

n a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds

Synonyms:
epic poem, epos, heroic poem
Examples:
show 5 examples...
hide 5 examples...
Aeneid
an epic in Latin by Virgil; tells the adventures of Aeneas after the Trojan War; provides an illustrious historical background for the Roman Empire
Divina Commedia
a narrative epic poem written by Dante
Iliad
a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the siege of Troy
Odyssey
a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the journey of Odysseus after the fall of Troy
Nibelungenlied
an epic poem written in Middle High German and based on the legends of Siegfried and Teutonic kings
Types:
chanson de geste
Old French epic poems
rhapsody
an epic poem adapted for recitation
heroic, heroic meter, heroic verse
a verse form suited to the treatment of heroic or elevated themes; dactylic hexameter or iambic pentameter
Type of:
poem, verse form
a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines

adj constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic

epic tradition”
Synonyms:
epical
2

adj very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)

“an epic voyage”
Synonyms:
heroic, larger-than-life
big, large
above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.