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epigram

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n epigram a witty saying
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Epigram A short poem treating concisely and pointedly of a single thought or event. The modern epigram is so contrived as to surprise the reader with a witticism or ingenious turn of thought, and is often satirical in character. "Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram ?"
    • Epigram An effusion of wit; a bright thought tersely and sharply expressed, whether in verse or prose.
    • Epigram The style of the epigram. "Antithesis, i. e., bilateral stroke, is the soul of epigram in its later and technical signification."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n epigram In Gr. lit., a poetical inscription placed upon a tomb or public monument, as upon the face of a temple or public arch. The term was afterward extended to any little piece of verse expressing with precision a delicate or ingenious thought, as the pieces in the Greek Anthology. In Roman classical poetry the term was somewhat indiscriminately used to designate a short piece in verse; but the works of Catullus, and especially the epigrams of Martial, contain a great number with the modern epigrammatic character.
    • n epigram Hence In a restricted sense, a short poem or piece in verse, which has only one subject, and finishes by a witty or ingenious turn of thought; hence, in a general sense, an interesting thought represented happily in a few words, whether verse or prose; a pointed or antithetical saying.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Epigram ep′i-gram any concise and pointed or sarcastic saying: a short poem on one subject ending with an ingenious thought
    • ***

Quotations

  • Minna Antrim
    Minna%20Antrim
    “An epigram is a flashlight of a truth; a witticism, truth laughing at itself.”
  • Oscar Levant
    Oscar%20Levant
    “An epigram is only a wisecrack that's played at Carnegie Hall.”
  • W. Somerset Maugham
    W.%20Somerset%20Maugham
    “Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams.”
  • Persian Proverb
    Persian Proverb
    “Epigrams succeed where epics fail.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “He would stab his best friend for the sake of writing an epigram on his tombstone.”
  • Fredrich
    Fredrich
    “A joke is an epigram on the death of a feeling.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. epigramma, fr. Gr. inscription, epigram, fr. to write upon, 'epi` upon + to write: cf. F. épigramme,. See Graphic
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through Fr. and L., from Gr. epigrammaepi, upon, gramma, a writing—graphein, to write.

Usage

In literature:

I have not a shadow of doubt that these anti-Protestant epigrams are profoundly true.
"Collected Essays, Volume V" by T. H. Huxley
Palacio wrote excellent sonnets and epigrams.
"Modern Spanish Lyrics" by Various
Caution, my dear Kronberg, if I may fall into epigram, is frequently and paradoxically the mother of disaster.
"Diane of the Green Van" by Leona Dalrymple
Nay more, for greatness' sake, he will be one May hear my epigrams, but like of none.
"English Satires" by Various
Altogether, the fact is an epigram on the surface-literature of America.
"The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846" by Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett
You see ironical smiles on every lip, you meet an epigram in every answer.
"The Physiology of Marriage, Complete" by Honore de Balzac
Milton's character as a poet was never better pourtray'd than in the epigram under his picture written by Mr. Dryden.
"The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753)" by Theophilus Cibber
I have not a shadow of doubt that these anti-Protestant epigrams are profoundly true.
"Lectures and Essays" by Thomas Henry Huxley
He made a speech for "Woman," which bristled with wit, cynicism, and sarcastic epigrams.
"Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2" by Various
Made another reading to the epigram, but the turn the same.
"Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6)" by (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron
It is worth notice that some of the epigrams in "Dorian Gray" were bettered again before they appeared in his first play.
"Oscar Wilde, Volume 1 (of 2)" by Frank Harris
MARTIAL'S EPIGRAM ON PORTIA.
"A Handbook for Latin Clubs" by Various
Merton read the epigram.
"The Disentanglers" by Andrew Lang
He calls these portions epigrams or inscriptions.
"Theodicy" by G. W. Leibniz
Simonides expressed his gratitude in a poem describing the event, and in several epigrams.
"Greek and Roman Ghost Stories" by Lacy Collison-Morley
EPIGRAM ON SEEING AN EXECUTION.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
Besides, I like to make all the epigrams myself.
"Emily Fox-Seton" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Do you know, I've been thinking about epigrams.
"The Princess Elopes" by Harold MacGrath
For, looking over his published works tonight, I find only one or two epigrams worthy of a brief existence.
"The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story" by Various
He was proof against epigram.
"The Loom of Youth" by Alec Waugh
***

In poetry:

If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.
"Oscar Wilde" by Dorothy Parker
In all this jubilee of being,
Some subject for a point she's seeing—
Some epigram—(to be impartial,
Well turned)—there may be worse in Martial!
"The Celebrated Woman - An Epistle" by Friedrich von Schiller
A lodge within the fastness of the desert waste, or wild,
Is better than the castle hall and palace courts defiled
By wielding of the epigram and reign of repartee,
Where the housewife's pride and glory is to nag and disagree.
"The Shady Side" by Samuel Alfred Beadle

In news:

Martial's Epigrams: A Selection translated from the Latin and with an introduction by Garry Wills Viking, 205 pp.
The new Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest — Oscar Wilde's rarefied comedy of epigrams, mistaken identity, cucumber sandwiches and English breakfast tea — opened Jan 13 at the American Airlines Theatre.
"Oscar wilde was jailed, exiled and ruined," wrote John Lahr in The New Yorker, in a piece about Woody Allen, "for flaunting sexual convention offstage as brazenly as his epigrams undermined social convention on it.
The Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs begins with a Buddhist epigram, though not a particularly memorable one (something about "Continuous Hell" being the worst of the eight hells).
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In science:

Alan Perlis referred to this in his 1982 epigram, “A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant”.
Functional Programming and Security
UNWRAPPING THE RIDDLE Churchill’s well-quoted epigram on the Soviet Union is also appropriate for the massive, extremely luminous star η Carinae (Davidson & Humphreys 1997): the star is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, surrounded by enigma.
Eta Car and Its Surroundings: the X-ray Diagnosis
Note that in the typeset code presented in this paper, any unbound variables in type signatures are implicitly universally quantified, as is the convention in H askell and Epigram .
From Mathematics to Abstract Machine: A formal derivation of an executable Krivine machine
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