Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A short poem or speech spoken directly to the audience following the conclusion of a play.
  • n. The performer who delivers such a short poem or speech.
  • n. A short addition or concluding section at the end of a literary work, often dealing with the future of its characters. Also called afterword.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short speech, spoken directly at the audience at the end of a play
  • n. The performer who gives this speech
  • n. A brief oration or script at the end of a literary piece; an afterword
  • n. A component of a computer program that prepares the computer to return from a routine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A speech or short poem addressed to the spectators and recited by one of the actors, after the conclusion of the play.
  • n. The closing part of a discourse, in which the principal matters are recapitulated; a conclusion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, the conclusion or closing part of a discourse or oration; the peroration.
  • n. In dramatic or narrative writing, a concluding address; a winding up of the subject; specifically, in spoken dramas, a closing piece or speech, usually in verse, addressed by one or more of the performers to the audience.
  • To epilogize.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a short speech (often in verse) addressed directly to the audience by an actor at the end of a play
  • n. a short passage added at the end of a literary work

Etymologies

Middle English epiloge, from Old French epilogue, from Latin epilogus, from Greek epilogos, conclusion of a speech : epi-, epi- + logos, word, speech; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French épilogue, from Latin epilogus, from Ancient Greek ἐπίλογος (epilogos, "a conclusion, peroration of a speech, epilogue of a play"), from ἐπιλέγειν (epilegein, "say in addition"), from ἐπί (epi, "in addition") + λέγειν (legein, "to say"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • ROSALIND. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnish'd like a beggar; therefore to beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you; and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women - as I perceive by your simp'ring none of you hates them - that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleas'd me, complexions that lik'd me, and breaths that I defied not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.
    (As You Like It)

    October 1, 2008