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[ih-purn, ey-pairn] /ɪˈpɜrn, eɪˈpɛərn/
an ornamental piece for the center of a table, for holding fruit, flowers, etc.
Origin of epergne
1755-65; perhaps < French épargne treasury, saving, noun derivative of épargner to save < Germanic; compare German sparen to save, spare Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for epergne
Historical Examples
  • Overpowering her dire confusion, in obedience to him, she looked at the epergne, and listened.

    The Heir of Redclyffe Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Howell and James would send him the epergne they had designed for a czar.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
  • Lucy lingered a moment, ostensibly looking at the epergne, really drying her tears away.

  • A vase of flowers or a basket of growing plants can replace the epergne.

    The Art of Entertaining M. E. W. Sherwood
  • epergne, e-pėrn′, n. an ornamental stand for a large dish for the centre of a table.

  • The epergne is supported by a base representing the genius of America.

    Village Life in America 1852-1872 Caroline Cowles Richards
  • Then, on bending forward a little to glance behind an epergne, I found a face which it surprised and pleased me to see.

    The White People Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • And just then his eye fell upon the epergne, a very old and beautiful piece of silver, that graced the dinner-table.

    Soul of a Bishop H. G. Wells
  • The modern ornaments of epergne or plateau were supplied by images of the gods, wrought in bronze, ivory, and silver.

    The Last Days of Pompeii Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  • He anathematised an epergne which to-night seemed more than usually obstructive.

    Cynthia Leonard Merrick
British Dictionary definitions for epergne


an ornamental centrepiece for a table: a stand with holders for sweetmeats, fruit, flowers, etc
Word Origin
C18: probably from French épargne a saving, from épargner to economize, of Germanic origin; compare spare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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