1. A short, witty poem expressing a single thought or observation.
2. A concise, clever, often paradoxical statement.
3. Epigrammatic discourse or expression.
[Middle English, from Old French epigramme, from Latin epigramma, from Greek, from epigraphein, to mark the surface, inscribe : epi-, epi- + graphein, to write; see gerbh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.