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used in a sentence
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Definition a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing such as a book or chapter


an inscription engraved into something such as a building or statue

Much more rarely, in mathematics, epigraph references the area on or above the graph of a function.
  • Her books have especially witty epigraphs at the start of each chapter.
  • The book begins with an epigraph from Dylan Thomas: "Do not go gentle into that good night."
  • Which is why the epigraph of this book is the quatrain from the famous Christmas carol.
    Kurt Vonnegut  --  Slaughterhouse-Five
  • The image was overpowering, possibly representing the epigraphical find of the century, a decade of his research confirmed in a single symbol.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • epigraph: "Sensible commanders always grab whatever weapons are easiest at hand, and no weapon is easier to get or control than children."
    Allan Stratton  --  Chandra's Wars
  • In its small way, it is the middle passage, that watery sojourn that, one way and another, took the lives of millions, as Morrison says in the novel's epigraph.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • Langdon had once worked on a series of Baconian manuscripts that contained epigraphical ciphers in which certain lines of code were clues as to how to decipher the other lines.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • The count seized it hastily, his eyes immediately fell upon the epigraph, and he read, " 'Thou shalt tear out the dragons' teeth, and shall trample the lions under foot, saith the Lord.'
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Not because he was paralyzed by horror but because at that prodigious instant Melquiades' final keys were revealed to him and he saw the epigraph of the parchments perfectly placed in the order of man's time and space: The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Taste and pleasure did not form part of her lists, but at the front of the book there was a curious epigraph by John Ruskin: Cookery means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe and of Helen and of the Queen of Sheba.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Blind Assassin
  • Instead she is one of, in the words of the epigraph to the novel, the "sixty million and more" Africans and African-descended slaves who died incaptivity and forced marches on the continent or in the middle passage or on the plantations made possible by their captive labor or in attempts to escape a system that should have been unthinkable—as unthinkable as, for instance, a mother seeing no other means of rescuing her child except infanticide.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • The increasing simplification traceable from the Egyptian epigraphic hieroglyphs to the Greek and Roman alphabets and the anticipation of modern stenography and telegraphic code in the cuneiform inscriptions (Semitic) and the virgular quinquecostate ogham writing (Celtic).
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses

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