Meaning of epitaph in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɛpɪtɑːf/

See synonyms for epitaph

Translate epitaph into Spanish


  • 1A phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone.

    ‘This might be recorded on their tombstone as an epitaph or in an obituary, commemoration portrait, or in some cases a biography.’
    • ‘All the tombstones were well carved, and some had wonderful epitaphs written on them; one, belonging to a 22 year old woman said ‘Those who seek me with all their heart shall find me where they least expect’.’
    • ‘A few words like that are sweeter than an epitaph on the grandest tombstone ever raised.’
    • ‘Appolinaire wrote the epitaph written on Rousseau's tombstone.’
    • ‘The epitaphs, written in many different languages, recorded an international community of the dead.’
    • ‘Babu and I wander into the sanctuary, looking at chest-high tablets inscribed with epitaphs for both Sherpa and foreign climbers.’
    • ‘English translations of the epitaphs on ancient tombstones of the Dutch and Portuguese in St. Francis Church at Fort Kochi will soon be displayed.’
    • ‘Now friends, write an epitaph for yourself, and share them with us.’
    • ‘I'm sure Barry meant well but I'd think twice before commissioning him to write your epitaph.’
    • ‘The epitaph, written on a grave in Padua, gives the date of his death in June, 1945.’
    • ‘It is full of natural history; notes about customs she has observed, epitaphs, and inscriptions on bells; here are also drawings of carvings she has seen on screens and pew ends in churches.’
    • ‘A single gravestone from this period may be inscribed with epitaphs that belong to as many as seven different individuals, though whether or not the grave contained seven bodies is unknown.’
    • ‘Amusement can be gained from tombstone epitaphs which, when read differently, can see intentions misconstrued to say the least.’
    • ‘The images in the frieze seem to elaborate in visual terms what the epitaphs below convey in words.’
    • ‘Surely knowing that he was writing his own epitaph, Frank, who lived in Piccadilly Village, last year published a candid autobiography, I Am What I Am.’
    • ‘The recent inscription of his epitaph upon their large granite gravestone gave him a sense of contentment and presaged a new era for humankind.’
    • ‘In both films, every house becomes a crypt, every word an epitaph.’
    • ‘Naturally, the epitaph on his tombstone should read ‘Th-that-that's all folks!’’
    • ‘The wanderer realized this was not just a monument but also a grave, and the inscription was an epitaph.’
    • ‘I read what I had written about an epitaph that had struck me as particular and meaningful.’
    • ‘How would you like to be remembered in your epitaph?’
    elegy, commemoration, obituary, funeral oration
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Something by which a person, time, or event will be remembered.
      • ‘the story makes a sorry epitaph to a great career’


Late Middle English from Old French epitaphe, via Latin from Greek epitaphion ‘funeral oration’, neuter of ephitaphios ‘over or at a tomb’, from epi ‘upon’ + taphos ‘tomb’.