1. a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.
  2. a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person.

verb (used with object)

  1. to commemorate in or with an epitaph.


  1. a commemorative inscription on a tombstone or monument
  2. a speech or written passage composed in commemoration of a dead person
  3. a final judgment on a person or thing

mid-14c., from Old French epitaphe (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin epitaphium “funeral oration, eulogy,” from Greek epitaphion “a funeral oration,” noun use of neuter of epitaphos “of a funeral,” from epi “at, over” (see epi-) + taphos “tomb, funeral rites,” from PIE root *dhembh- “to bury.” Among the Old English equivalents was byrgelsleo├░.

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