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Old French epitafe, from Latin epitaphium ‎(eulogy), from Ancient Greek ἐπιτάφιος ‎(epitáphios, relating to a funeral), from ἐπί ‎(epí, over) + τάφος ‎(táphos, tomb).


epitaph ‎(plural epitaphs)

  1. An inscription on a gravestone in memory of the deceased.
  2. A poem or other short text written in memory of a deceased person.



epitaph ‎(third-person singular simple present epitaphs, present participle epitaphing, simple past and past participle epitaphed)

  1. (intransitive) To write or speak after the manner of an epitaph.
    • Bishop Hall
      The common in their speeches epitaph upon him [] "He lived as a wolf and died as a dog."
  2. (transitive) To commemorate by an epitaph.
    • G. Harvey
      Let me be epitaphed the inventor of English hexameters.

See also[edit]

  • eulogy – oration about the dead, often at funeral
  • obituary – published writing on the dead
  • epigraph – quote on a tombstone