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epic

[ep-ik] /ˈɛp ɪk/
adjective, Also, epical
1.
noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style:
Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
2.
resembling or suggesting such poetry:
an epic novel on the founding of the country.
3.
heroic; majestic; impressively great:
the epic events of the war.
4.
of unusually great size or extent:
a crime wave of epic proportions.
5.
Slang. spectacular; very impressive; awesome:
Their burgers and fries are epic!
adverb
6.
Slang. very; extremely:
That's an epic cool video!
noun
7.
an epic poem.
8.
epic poetry.
9.
any composition resembling an epic.
10.
something worthy to form the subject of an epic:
The defense of the Alamo is an American epic.
11.
(initial capital letter). Also called Old Ionic. the Greek dialect represented in the Iliad and the Odyssey, apparently Aeolic modified by Ionic.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Latin epicus < Greek epikós. See epos, -ic
Related forms
epically, adverb
epiclike, adjective
nonepic, adjective, noun
nonepical, adjective
nonepically, adverb
semiepic, adjective, noun
semiepical, adjective
semiepically, adverb
superepic, adjective, noun
unepic, adjective
Can be confused
epic, epoch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for epic
  • It's a while since I've read epic poetry, so it's slow going for now.
  • Producing an epic has always been a huge risk for Hollywood studios.
  • There is an epic quality to this contest, a collision of two ultimately incompatible visions of America.
  • Win or lose you are going to have an epic battle on your hands.
  • There's nothing special about trying to write an epic poem.
  • This old-fashioned novel contrasts an epic frontier past with present-day Mexico city.
  • Birds, butterflies, and beasts take off on epic migrations.
  • There is a basic conflict between our perception of time and the reality of time which is causing epic confusion in physics.
  • By now you may have written, or received, one of those epic holiday letters many people still send.
  • The story behind it is central to the epic struggle of the civil rights movement.
British Dictionary definitions for epic

epic

/ˈɛpɪk/
noun
1.
a long narrative poem recounting in elevated style the deeds of a legendary hero, esp one originating in oral folk tradition
2.
the genre of epic poetry
3.
any work of literature, film, etc, having heroic deeds for its subject matter or having other qualities associated with the epic a Hollywood epic
4.
an episode in the lives of men in which heroic deeds are performed or attempted the epic of Scott's expedition to the South Pole
adjective
5.
denoting, relating to, or characteristic of an epic or epics
6.
of heroic or impressive proportions an epic voyage
Word Origin
C16: from Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos speech, word, song
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for epic
epic
1589, from L. epicus, from Gk. epikos, from epos "word, story, poem." Extended sense of "grand, heroic" first recorded in Eng. 1731. The noun meaning "an epic poem" is first recorded 1706.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epic in Culture

epic definition


A long narrative poem written in elevated style, in which heroes of great historical or legendary importance perform valorous deeds. The setting is vast in scope, covering great nations, the world, or the universe, and the action is important to the history of a nation or people. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid are some great epics from world literature, and two great epics in English are Beowulf and Paradise Lost.

Note: Figuratively, any task of great magnitude may be called “epic,” as in an “epic feat” or an “epic undertaking.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Related Abbreviations for epic

EPIC

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The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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