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[ih-pit-uh-mee] /ɪˈpɪt ə mi/
a person or thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole class:
He is the epitome of goodness.
a condensed account, especially of a literary work; abstract.
Origin of epitome
1520-30; < Latin epitomē abridgment < Greek epitomḗ abridgment, surface incision. See epi-, -tome
Related forms
[ep-i-tom-i-kuh l] /ˌɛp ɪˈtɒm ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
epitomic, adjective
1. embodiment, exemplification, model, typification, quintessence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for epitome
  • For me, he is the epitome of the engaged scholar-citizen.
  • Rockefeller was the epitome of the monopolist who sought to corner industrial production in certain commodities.
  • My policies are the epitome of fair.
  • Mr Takeshima is the epitome of the well-rounded establishment figure.
  • The picture of an electric car traffic jam would be the epitome of failure to change life styles.
  • He was the epitome of the laid-back man.
  • He will effortlessly represent him as the epitome of the bad old days.
  • The passage is almost a generalized epitome of his Revolutionary romances.
  • The novel is thus an epitome of the whole career of the most memorable character American fiction has given to the world.
  • Long before the phrase "student-athlete" was in vogue, he was the epitome of it.
British Dictionary definitions for epitome


a typical example of a characteristic or class; embodiment; personification: he is the epitome of sloth
a summary of a written work; abstract
Derived Forms
epitomical (ˌɛpɪˈtɒmɪkəl), epitomic, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek epitomē, from epitemnein to abridge, from epi- + temnein to cut
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 epitome

1520s, "an abstract; brief statement of the chief points of some writing," from Middle French épitomé (16c.), from Latin epitome "abridgment," from Greek epitome "abridgment," from epitemnein "cut short, abridge," from epi "into" (see epi-) + temnein "to cut" (see tome). Sense of "person or thing that typifies something" is first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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