[ep-i-taf, -tahf]
a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.
a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person.
verb (used with object)
to commemorate in or with an epitaph.

1350–1400; Middle English epitaphe < Latin epitaphium < Greek epitáphion over or at a tomb, equivalent to epi- epi- + táph(os) tomb + -ion noun, adj. suffix

epitaphic [ep-i-taf-ik] , adjective
epitaphist, noun
epitaphless, adjective
unepitaphed, adjective

epigram, epigraph, epitaph, epithet.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
epitaph (ˈɛpɪˌtɑːf, -ˌtæf)
1.  a commemorative inscription on a tombstone or monument
2.  a speech or written passage composed in commemoration of a dead person
3.  a final judgment on a person or thing
[C14: via Latin from Greek epitaphion, from epitaphios over a tomb, from epi- + taphos tomb]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. epitaphe, from L. epitaphium "funeral oration, eulogy," from Gk. epitaphion, neut. of epitaphos "of a funeral," from epi- "at, over" + taphos "tomb, funeral rites." Among the O.E. equivalents was byrgelsleoð.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Young or old, death awaits us all, and the epitaph-writer knows it.
This book is a worthy epitaph to a vibrant woman.
It seemed an appropriate epitaph for an obsolescent merchandising trend.
Most carved epitaphs ignore punctuation.
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