An epigraph is an engraved inscription on a building or statue, or a quotation at the beginning of a piece of writing.

If you look on the U.S. government minted coins in your pocket, you'll see the epigraph "In God We Trust." Epigraph comes from the Greek roots epi- ("on") and graphein ("write"), a root you'll recognize from autograph, graphite, graphic novel, and lots of other familiar words that have to do with writing or drawing.

Definitions of epigraph
  1. noun
    a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing
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    type of:
    citation, quotation, quote
    a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
  2. noun
    an engraved inscription
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    type of:
    inscription, lettering
    letters inscribed (especially words engraved or carved) on something
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