Definition of epitaph noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈepɪtɑːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈepɪtæf//
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  1. 1words that are written or said about a dead person, especially words on a gravestone His epitaph read: ‘A just and noble countryman’. See related entries: Death
  2. 2epitaph (to somebody/something) something which is left to remind people of a particular person, a period of time or an event These slums are an epitaph to the housing policy of the 1960s.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French epitaphe, via Latin from Greek epitaphion ‘funeral oration’, neuter of ephitaphios ‘over or at a tomb’, from epi ‘upon’ + taphos ‘tomb’.Extra examples It makes a fitting epitaph to a great career. Joyce’s epitaph on King Edward VIII She wrote the perfect epitaph for the poet. These films stand as an epitaph to the great director.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: epitaph