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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Epitome \E*pit"o*me\, n.; pl. Epitomes. [L., fr. Gr. ? a surface incision, also, and abridgment, fr. ? to cut into, cut short; 'epi` upon + te`mnein to cut: cf. F. ['e]pitome. See Tome.]

  1. A work in which the contents of a former work are reduced within a smaller space by curtailment and condensation; a brief summary; an abridgement.

    [An] epitome of the contents of a very large book.
    --Sydney Smith.

  2. A compact or condensed representation of anything; something possessing conspicuously or to a high degree the qualities of a class.

    An epitome of English fashionable life.

    A man so various that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome.

    Syn: Abridgement; compendium; compend; abstract; synopsis; abbreviature. See Abridgment.


n. (plural of epitome English)

Usage examples of "epitomes".

In the Basle edition the name is written Erigimul, in the older Latin, Ergimul, and in the Italian epitomes, Ergiuul.

Seventy-one, their lives worn out with working, and he judged that he had been correct in citing them as epitomes of the black problem.

These statements are not epitomes of all that is said in the text, and for most of the central figures in the narrative are kept extremely brief.