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.’
    • ‘The scripts are accessed through forms which allow you to specify the manuscripts, feasts or incipits which interest you.’
    • ‘It would have the theme incipits, song title, composer, and copyright dales, and any or all of these fields could be searched for.’
    • ‘Manual and printed collections of incipits permit only one type of inquiry: by the first word.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

incipit

/inˈsipit/