Epitome vs epiphany

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Epitome and epiphany are two words that are similar in pronunciation and spelling, and they are often confused. We will look at the definitions of epitome and epiphany, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Epitome indicates a thing or person that is a perfect example of its category, something that is the perfect example of its type. It may also mean an abstract or summary of a written work. Epitome is derived from the Greek word epitomē, which means an abridgement. In the 1520s, the word only carried the meaning of a summary of a written work. By the turn of the seventeenth century, it also came to mean the perfect example of a type. Note that the pronunciation is uh-pid-uh-mee, an exception to most words ending in e, where the e is silent and the preceding vowel is a long vowel. The plural form is epitomes.

An epiphany is a moment of sudden revelation. In Christian terminology, epiphany describes the moment that the divine is revealed, such as the revelation of Christ to the gentiles. The word epiphany is derived from the Greek word epiphaneia, which means manifestation. The plural form is epiphanies.


The epitome of southern grace sprinkled, with dry wit, Renae was easy to spot in traffic. (The Port City Daily)

“Off the field today he is the epitome of good behaviour, a very pleasant icon, always ready to interact with fans and the audience at the stadium.” (The Chandigarh Tribune)

He said he had spent years trying to blow customers away with fancy food, with powders and foams, but last year he had an epiphany in France, when his kitchen was stretched and he no longer had time for any of that nonsense. (The New Zealand Herald)