epithet

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n epithet a defamatory or abusive word or phrase
    • n epithet descriptive word or phrase
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Epithet An adjective expressing some quality, attribute, or relation, that is properly or specially appropriate to a person or thing; as, a just man; a verdant lawn. "A prince [Henry III.] to whom the epithet “worthless” seems best applicable."
    • Epithet Term; expression; phrase. "Stuffed with epithets of war."
    • v. t Epithet To describe by an epithet. "Never was a town better epitheted ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n epithet An adjective, or a word or phrase used as an adjective, expressing some real quality of the person or thing to which it is applied, or attributing some quality or character to the person or thing: as, a benevolent or a hard-hearted man; a scandalous exhibition; sphinx-like mystery; a Fabian policy.
    • n epithet Hence In rhetoric, a term added to impart strength or ornament to diction, and differing from an adjective in that it designates as well as qualifies, and may take the form of a surname: as, Dionysius the Tyrant; Alexander the Great.
    • n epithet A phrase; an expression.
    • epithet To entitle; describe by epithets.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Epithet ep′i-thet an adjective expressing some real quality of the thing to which it is applied, or an attribute expressing some quality ascribed to it:
    • v.t Epithet to term
    • n Epithet ep′i-thet (Shak.) term, expression
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Quotations

  • Wyndham Lewis
    Wyndham%20Lewis
    “As a result of the feminist revolution, feminine becomes an abusive epithet.”
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
    Mary Wollstonecraft
    “Children, I grant, should be innocent; but when the epithet is applied to men, or women, it is but a civil term for weakness.”
  • Jean De La Bruyere
    Jean%20De%20La%20Bruyere
    “A heap of epithets is poor praise: the praise lies in the facts, and in the way of telling them.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. epitheton, Gr. , fr. added, fr. to add; 'epi` upon, to + to put, place: cf. F. épithète,. See Do
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. epithetos, added—epi, on, tithenai, to place.

Usage

In literature:

At length Madame de la Tour soothed his mind by lavishing upon him such epithets as were best calculated to revive his hopes.
"Paul and Virginia" by Bernadin de Saint-Pierre
Indeed, the whole room was poetic, Lady Kirkbank declared, and there are many highly praised scenes which less deserve the epithet.
"Phantom Fortune, A Novel" by M. E. Braddon
The "nasty thing" was the mildest of the epithets they applied to the beast.
"The Girl Aviators' Motor Butterfly" by Margaret Burnham
When anything belonging to him is mentioned, the epithet 'golden' is invariably attached to it.
"The World of Waters" by Mrs. David Osborne
The epithet survives in Uttar (north) and Dakhin (south) Rarhi, but has lost its offensive meaning.
"Tales of Bengal" by S. B. Banerjea
This little stream well deserves the epithet of "bonnie," which Burns has given it.
"Letters of a Traveller" by William Cullen Bryant
We all allow this implicitly in the epithets which we apply to different styles.
"Literary and General Lectures and Essays" by Charles Kingsley
There are also some false epithets, as "drop," for run or flow, and "guesses" for conjectures.
"Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers" by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
There must be some deadly fascination in the epithet, for no agent can refrain from using it; but what does it mean?
"Punch, Volume 156, January 22, 1919." by Various
He broke into a volley of curses and epithets, reproaching his nephew for his delay.
"The Apartment Next Door" by William Andrew Johnston
He began with a string of epithets.
"Cheerful--By Request" by Edna Ferber
A written discourse must contain forced epithets and adjectives to illustrate the subject.
"Delsarte System of Oratory" by Various
CUNE`IFORM, an epithet applied to the wedge-shaped characters in which the Assyrian and other ancient monumental inscriptions are written.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
There was no hard epithet that Evelyn did not apply to Mr.
"Miriam Monfort" by Catherine A. Warfield
He would not apply such an epithet to any one in the house of a friend.
"The Captain's Toll-Gate" by Frank R. Stockton
His valiant son, a somewhat smaller boy than either Yan or Sam, came near enough to the boundary to hurl opprobrious epithets.
"Two Little Savages" by Ernest Thompson Seton
The epithets applied to the hair frequently refer to musk, ambergris, and civet.
"Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 4 (of 6)" by Havelock Ellis
The Cossack jumped into the lap of a sailor and received a variety of epithets for his carelessness.
"Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar Life" by Thomas Wallace Knox
Probably these are the most appropriate, if not the only, epithets of commendation which can be applied to it.
"A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three" by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
Hence its name, and the epithet Virgil applies to it.
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil
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In poetry:

Well. Walk on your hands. It's the latest!
And feet are Victorian now;
And even our best and our greatest
Before that dread epithet bow.
Who'll buy?
"Fashions" by Alfred Noyes
The second earned the name of prig,
The first the epithet of prude;
The third, as merry as a grig,
On melon and on sucking pig
Feasts with the Great White Brotherhood.
"The Disciples" by Aleister Crowley
"Great Mother of great Commonwealths"
Men call our Mother State:
And she so well has earned this name
That she may challenge Fate
To snatch away the epithet
Long given her of "great."
"The Lee Memorial Ode" by James Barron Hope
His passion he could not restrain,
But shouted out, "You're thievish!"
The fox replied, with fine disdain,
"Come, country, don't be peevish."
(Now "country" is an epithet
One can't forgive, nor yet forget.)
"The Ambitious Fox And The Unapproachable Grapes" by Guy Wetmore Carryl

In news:

The cable reality-show landscape is crawlin' with them these days, with epithets like "hillbilly" and "redneck" prominently displayed right in the titles.
Teeth, in fact, have been the inspiration for many of Time 's hyphenated epithets.
The letter was far too engaging and literate to deserve the epithet " junk mail ".
A playground for Sp y grads, the section is littered with Spy -like epithets and asides.
Police were called by a woman who said a drunk man stood in the street shouting racial epithets and may have tried to break into her house.
Police officer uttered racial epithet at Red Sox player Carl Crawford.
Leominster police supervisors believe one of their officers directed a racial epithet at Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford this month during a minor-league game in New Hampshire, Interim Police Chief Robert Healey said Wednesday.
A few words on a lost epithet that deserves a resurgence.
John McCain's defenders are blasting a new biography that claims the White House hopeful once hurled the most vile of epithets at his wife, Cindy.
H e supposedly earned about $10 million per year for such delightful entertainment as flinging racist epithets around.
Police are seeking information on the spray painting of racial epithets on a a resident's home - 6:30 pm.
In yeshivas, they are sometimes taunted as "monkeys" or with the Yiddish epithet for blacks.
Time magazine's nine-decade celebration of the Homeric epithet.
Now, free of charge, I can revel in Time 's nine-decade celebration of the Homeric epithet.
In less than a week earlier this month, the stomach-turning epithet for ammonia-treated ground beef filler suddenly became a potent rallying cry by activists fighting to ban the product from supermarket shelves and school lunch trays.
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In science:

It is entitled The Formal Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity and Einstein thus, for the first time, gave the new theory of relativity the epithet ‘general’ in lieu of the more cautious ‘generalized’ that he had used for the Entwurf.
Albert Einstein's 1916 Review Article on General Relativity
More substructure and discontinuities in thick and thin disk kinematics appear in Alcobe and Cubarsi (2005) who used Hipparcos data and came up with an analog of the Titius-Bode law (sending us to our thesauri looking for a suitably innocuous-looking Greek-derived epithet).
Astrophysics in 2006
As always, some brave colleagues have shared their thoughts on highlights of the year and generally provided a nice deragement of epithets.
Astrophysics in 2006
Hence the epithet “unconditional.” Replacing finite rank operator by compact operators in the approximating sequence, one arrives at the notion of unconditional metric compact approximation property (UMCAP).
Nigel Kalton's work in isometrical Banach space theory
Throughout the paper, we will omit the epithet “mathematical” when speaking about mathematical instantons; we will also say n-instantons to specify the value of c2 , equal to n.
Rationality of instanton moduli
With the excellent performance of the LEP machine at high energy in the last couple of years, electroweak physics at LEP2 now truly merits the epithet “precise”.
Precise Electroweak Results from LEP2
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