SKIP TO CONTENT

epigraph

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
    see moresee less
    type of:
    citation, quotation, quote
    a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
  2. noun
    an engraved inscription
    see moresee less
    type of:
    inscription, lettering
    letters inscribed (especially words engraved or carved) on something
Commonly confused words

epigram / epigraph

An epigram is a little poem or clever statement, but an epigraph is a specific kind of epigram: a witty statement that's inscribed somewhere, such as on a building or at the beginning of a chapter or book.

Continue reading...

Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week