What is the definition of epithet?

The definition of epithet is a descriptive word or phrase that is added to—or replaces—the proper name of a person or object.

Epithet

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Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 77

Epithet - an adjective which expresses a quality or attribute considered characteristic of a person or thing. It is also an appellation or descriptive term which is common in historical titles such as “Catherine the Great.”

The term is taken from the Greek epitheton , meaning “attributed” or “added,” and...

(The entire section contains 77 words.)

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Epithet - an adjective which expresses a quality or attribute considered characteristic of a person or thing. It is also an appellation or descriptive term which is common in historical titles such as “Catherine the Great.”

The term is taken from the Greek epitheton, meaning “attributed” or “added,” and was formed by combining epi, meaning “on,” and tithenai, meaning “to place.”

Homer used many epithets, among them:

“rosy-fingered dawn”
“swift-footed Achilles”
“all-seeing Jove.”


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