English

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

     

    epithet

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈepɪθet//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈepɪθet//
     
    Linguistic devices
     
    jump to other results
  1. 1an adjective or phrase that is used to describe somebody/something’s character or most important quality, especially in order to give praise or criticism The film is long and dramatic but does not quite earn the epithet ‘epic’. See related entries: Linguistic devices
  2. 2(especially North American English) an offensive word or phrase that is used about a person or group of people Racial epithets were scrawled on the walls. See related entries: Linguistic devices
  3. Word Origin late 16th cent.: from French épithète, or via Latin from Greek epitheton, neuter of epithetos ‘attributed’, from epitithenai ‘add’, from epi ‘upon’ + tithenai ‘to place’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: epithet