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incipit

[in-si-pit; Latin ing-ki-pit] /ˈɪn sɪ pɪt; Latin ˈɪŋ kɪ pɪt/
noun
1.
the introductory words or opening phrases in the text of a medieval manuscript or an early printed book.
2.
Music. the first words of a chanted liturgical text, as that of a Gregorian chant or certain medieval motets.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; < Latin: (here) begins, 3rd singular present indicative of incipere
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

incipit

/ˈɪnkɪpɪt/
uknown
1.
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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Encyclopedia Article for incipit

the opening word or words of a medieval Western manuscript or early printed book. In the absence of a title page, the text may be recognized, referred to, and recorded by its incipit. As in the title pages or main divisions of later printed books, incipits provide an occasion for display letters and a fanfare of calligraphic ornament.

Learn more about incipit with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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