epithetic

epithet

[ep-uh-thet]
noun
1.
any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality: “Richard the Lion-Hearted” is an epithet of Richard I.
2.
a characterizing word or phrase firmly associated with a person or thing and often used in place of an actual name, title, or the like, as “man's best friend” for “dog.”
3.
a word, phrase, or expression used invectively as a term of abuse or contempt, to express hostility, etc.

Origin:
1570–80; < Latin epitheton epithet, adjective < Greek epítheton epithet, something added, equivalent to epi- epi- + the- (variant stem of tithénai to put) + -ton neuter verbid suffix

epithetic, epithetical, adjective

epigram, epigraph, epitaph, epithet.


1, 2. nickname, sobriquet, designation, appellation. 3. curse, insult, abuse, expletive, obscenity.
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World English Dictionary
epithet (ˈɛpɪˌθɛt)
 
n
a descriptive word or phrase added to or substituted for a person's name: "Lackland" is an epithet for King John
 
[C16: from Latin epitheton, from Greek, from epitithenai to add, from tithenai to put]
 
epi'thetic
 
adj
 
epi'thetical
 
adj

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Word Origin & History

epithet
1579, "descriptive name for a person or thing," from L. from Gk. epitheton, adj. often used as n., from neut. of epithetos "attributed, added," from epitithenai "to add on," from epi- "in addition" + tithenai "to put," from PIE base *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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