- The definition of an epigram is a witty short poem or statement.
An example of an epigram is "Make crime pay: become a lawyer" by Will Rogers.
epigram definition by Webster's New World
- a short poem with a witty or satirical point
- any terse, witty, pointed statement, often with a clever twist in thought (Ex.: “Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes”)
- use of the epigram
Origin: Middle English ; from Old French epigramme ; from Classical Latin epigramma ; from Classical Greek inscription, epigram ; from epigraphein ; from epi-, upon plush graphein, to write: see graphic
epigram definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A short, witty poem expressing a single thought or observation.
- A concise, clever, often paradoxical statement. See Synonyms at saying.
- Epigrammatic discourse or expression.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French epigramme, from Latin epigramma, from Greek, from epigraphein, to mark the surface, inscribe : epi-, epi- + graphein, to write; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.
epigram - Cultural Definition
Any pithy, witty saying or short poem. An aphorism can serve as an epigram, if it is brief.
- Several authors are noted for their epigrams, including Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde. One of Wilde's epigrams is “I can resist everything except temptation.”
- Two other words are similar: an epigraph is usually an inscription, as on a statue; an epitaph can be such an inscription or it can be a brief literary note commemorating a dead person.