Definition of epode in English:



  • 1A form of lyric poem written in couplets, in which a long line is followed by a shorter one.

    • ‘Other epodes take up motifs from other contemporary genres (elegy in 11 and 15, pastoral in 2) but with significant alterations of tone: Horace ironically breaks the high emotional level of the models with a detached and distant closure.’
    • ‘What suggests that we are dealing with the portrait of an ethical ideal is the locution ‘Heureux celui qui’ [Happy the man who], recalling the sententious maxim (Beatus tile qui) that begins Horace's epode II.’
    • ‘Even the ‘archaic’ epodes are written in a style of painstaking elegance.’
  • 2The third section of an ancient Greek choral ode, or of one division of such an ode.

    • ‘The epode, or ‘aftersong,’ typically involves some form of return, as if from a trance, a resurfacing or unearthing motion that completes the ritual and brings the excavated find or renewed sense of racial consciousness to light.’
    • ‘The dance consisted of three sections: strophe, antistrophe and epode.’
    • ‘This was a ‘regular ode’ in that it closely followed Pindar's scheme of all strophes and antistrophes conforming to one stanzaic pattern, and all epodes following another.’


Early 17th century: from French épode, or via Latin epodos, from Greek epōidos, from epi ‘upon’ + ōidē (see ode).