Definition of epitome in US English:



  • 1the epitome ofA person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type.

    ‘she looked the epitome of elegance and good taste’
    • ‘The whole place is practically the epitome of ‘timeless elegance’.’
    • ‘I hated superficiality, and the popular people were the very epitome of it.’
    • ‘Although flexible and graceful were not the words I'd use to describe our tai chi motions, our instructors William and Pandora were the epitome of suppleness and elegance.’
    • ‘Kate is the epitome of ladylike elegance with poker straight posture, a svelte figure and a confident yet warm personality.’
    • ‘This is the man who represents the epitome of style in his immaculately pressed shirts, tirelessly shined shoes and tailored business attire.’
    • ‘This is all highly wonderful and simply the epitome of science fiction writing, but I'm truly excited to inform you that the best is still to come.’
    • ‘In many ways Detroit is the epitome of the materialist paradigm, a place where the mechanical worldview was perfected.’
    • ‘Smoking is an evil, deadly addiction, and for smokers to insist on blowing their foul pollution onto other people is the very epitome of senseless selfishness.’
    • ‘Mary, for example, is the epitome of virtue in the original comedy show.’
    • ‘Bob and Marcie (not their real names; in fact, they are not real people) are the very epitome of the Silicon Valley lifestyle.’
    • ‘Helen's older sister Jenny is the epitome of the perfect Mum.’
    • ‘I pictured her to be the epitome of Southern beauty.’
    • ‘She was the epitome of all Rubensian models and appears in many of his late works, not only in portraits but in the guise of various saints and deities.’
    • ‘He was described by the man who nominated him for the award as ‘the epitome of quality leadership in the modern educational era’.’
    • ‘These people have become the epitome and complete personification of Greed and Corruption.’
    • ‘From the seven bedrooms on the first floor, to the nine reception rooms on the ground floor, to the staff quarters below stairs, the apartment is the epitome of elegance.’
    • ‘Truly, Jun was the epitome of a perfect leader for anyone and everyone to follow and Chase readily admitted to that - a thing that he seldom did.’
    • ‘In public our relationship was the epitome of a perfect, loving relationship.’
    • ‘In the Netherlands there was initially a craving for all things French, for France represented the epitome of modernity and luxury.’
    • ‘The Queen herself was the epitome of elegance, wearing - most appropriately for the occasion - a beautiful Mudmee blouse of a sandy brown and a long dress of silver-grey.’
    personification, embodiment, incarnation, paragon
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  • 2A summary of a written work; an abstract.

    • ‘The two sacred epitomes - ‘Aadi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib’ (now onwards GGS) and ‘Dasam Granth’ have also been given the stature of ‘Guru’ by the tenth Guru - Guru Gobinda Singh.’
    • ‘Or, as another scholar has said, the creed is an epitome and summary that guides and directs a proper reading of Scripture.’
    • ‘For the rest we depend on excerpts and the epitomes of Zonaras (down to 146 and 44 BC to AD 96) and Xiphilinus.’
    summary, abstract, synopsis, precis, résumé, outline, digest, recapitulation, summation, compendium, potted version
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    1. 2.1archaic A thing representing something else in miniature.


Early 16th century: via Latin from Greek epitomē, from epitemnein ‘abridge’, from epi ‘in addition’ + temnein ‘to cut’.