An epigram is a short, clever remark. One of Oscar Wilde's many memorable epigrams is "I can resist everything but temptation."

Epigram comes from the Latin word epigramma, which means "an inscription." If you've ever seen an inscription on, say, the back of a watch, you know the writing has to be brief. It won't surprise you, then, that epigrams are very short poems, sayings, or famous quotations, like Benjamin Franklin's "Little strokes fell great oaks," a memorable reminder to keep working toward big goals or to pay attention to little details, the opposite of an epigram from our era: "Don't sweat the small stuff."

Definitions of epigram

n a witty saying

Type of:
expression, locution, saying
a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations

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