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[in-si-pit; Latin ing-ki-pit] /ˈɪn sɪ pɪt; Latin ˈɪŋ kɪ pɪt/
the introductory words or opening phrases in the text of a medieval manuscript or an early printed book.
Music. the first words of a chanted liturgical text, as that of a Gregorian chant or certain medieval motets.
Origin of incipit
1895-1900; < Latin: (here) begins, 3rd singular present indicative of incipere Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incipit
  • Inventory infrastructure needs so that fire officials can continue to prepare for controlling fires in their incipit stage.
British Dictionary definitions for incipit


here begins: used as an introductory word at the beginning of some medieval manuscripts
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 incipit

opening word of a Latin book or manuscript, Latin, literally "(here) begins," third person singular present indicative of incipere (see incipient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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