mid-15c., from Middle French épigramme, from Latin epigramma "an inscription," from Greek epigramma "an inscription, epitaph, epigram," from epigraphein "to write on, inscribe" (see epigraph). Related: Epigrammatist.
Any pithy, witty saying or short poem. An aphorism can serve as an epigram, if it is brief.
Note: Several authors are noted for their epigrams, including Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde. One of Wilde's epigrams is “I can resist everything except temptation.”
Note: Two other words are similar: an epigraph is usually an inscription, as on a statue; an epitaph can be such an inscription or it can be a brief literary note commemorating a dead person.