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See also: epítome



From Middle French, from Latin epitomē, from Ancient Greek ἐπιτομή (epitomḗ, an abridgment, also a surface-incision), from ἐπιτέμνω (epitémnō, I cut upon the surface, cut short, abridge), from ἐπί (epí) + τέμνω (témnō, to cut).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /əˈpɪt.ə.mi/, /ɪˈpɪt.ə.mi/
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epitome (plural epitomes or epitomai)

  1. The embodiment or encapsulation of a class of items.
    Synonyms: exemplar, model, type; see also Thesaurus:exemplar, Thesaurus:model
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene v], page 27:
      This is a poore Epitome of yours, / Which by th'interpretation of full time, / May ſhew like all your ſelfe.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      But first I took up Ayesha's kirtle and the gauzy scarf with which she had been wont to hide her dazzling loveliness from the eyes of men, and, averting my head so that I might not look upon it, covered up that dreadful relic of the glorious dead, that shocking epitome of human beauty and human life.
  2. A representative example.
    Synonyms: quintessential, poster child; see also Thesaurus:exemplar
    • 1988, “Don't Believe the Hype”, in It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, performed by Public Enemy:
      The minute they see me, fear me / I'm the epitome of "public enemy"
  3. The height; the best; the most vivid.
    Synonyms: acme, greatest
    • 1831, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Romance and Reality, volume 2, page 240:
      He looks the very epitome of fright: I do not think he could eat one of those apples, if it were given him.
  4. A brief summary of a text.
    Synonyms: abstract, synopsis
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)

Usage notes[edit]

The sense “the height, the best” is considered incorrect by some; instead, pinnacle may be preferred.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]


Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia it


epitome f (plural epitomi)

  1. epitome


Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek ἐπιτομή (epitomḗ), from ἐπιτέμνω (epitémnō), from ἐπί (epí) + τέμνω (témnō, to cut).



epitomē f (genitive epitomēs); first declension

  1. epitome, abridgement, synopsis


First-declension noun (Greek-type).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative epitomē epitomae
Genitive epitomēs epitomārum
Dative epitomae epitomīs
Accusative epitomēn epitomās
Ablative epitomē epitomīs
Vocative epitomē epitomae


  • Catalan: epítom
  • English: epitome
  • Galician: epítome
  • Portuguese: epítome
  • Spanish: epítome


  • epitome”, in Charlton T[homas] Lewis; Charles [Lancaster] Short (1879) [] A New Latin Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.: American Book Company; Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • epitome”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • epitome in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • epitome”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • epitome in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016




  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of epitomar.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of epitomar.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of epitomar.
  4. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of epitomar.