Epithet meaning

ĕpə-thĕt
Frequency:
Epithet is defined as a term used to give a characteristic to whatever or whomever is being described.

An example of an epithet is to refer to Alexander III, King of Macedon, as Alexander the Great.

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A disparaging or abusive word or phrase.
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A word in the scientific name of an organism following the name of the genus and denoting a species, subspecies, variety, or cultivar, as sativa in Lactuca sativa.
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An adjective, noun, or phrase, often specif. a disparaging one, used to characterize some person or thing (Ex.: “egghead” for an intellectual)
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A descriptive name or title (Ex.: Philip the Fair, America the Beautiful)
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A word in the scientific name of an organism following the name of the genus and denoting a species, subspecies, variety, or cultivar, as sativa in Lactuca sativa.
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A term used to characterize a person or thing.
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A term used as a descriptive substitute for the name or title of a person.
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(biology) A word in the scientific name of a taxon following the name of the genus or species. This applies only to formal names of plants, fungi and bacteria. In formal names of animals the corresponding term is the specific name.
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Origin of epithet

  • Latin epitheton from Greek neuter of epithetos added, attributed from epitithenai epithe- to add to epi- epi- tithenai to place dhē- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle French épithète, from Latin, from Ancient Greek ἐπίθετον (epitheton, “adjective”), the neuter of ἐπίθετος (epithetos, “attributed, added”), from ἐπιτιθέναι (epitithenai, “to add on”), from ἐπι- (epi-) + τιθέναι (tithenai, “to put”) (from Proto-Indo-European *dhe- (“to put, to do”)).

    From Wiktionary