Definition of incipit in English:

incipit

noun

  • The opening words of a text, manuscript, early printed book, or chanted liturgical text.

    Compare with explicit
    • ‘The resolution of the facsimile at high magnification is not clear enough to see the detail of the incipits, but it is fascinating to discover more about this shadowy publication.’
    • ‘Manual and printed collections of incipits permit only one type of inquiry: by the first word.’
    • ‘The scripts are accessed through forms which allow you to specify the manuscripts, feasts or incipits which interest you.’
    • ‘Each folio has the incipits of the hours of the Virgin on the recto, and the lessons, responsories and versicles from the office of the dead on the verso.’
    • ‘It would have the theme incipits, song title, composer, and copyright dales, and any or all of these fields could be searched for.’

Origin

Late 19th century: Latin, literally (here) begins.

Pronunciation:

incipit

/inˈsipit/