1. A representative or perfect example of a class or type: "He is seen ... as the epitome of the hawkish, right-of-center intellectual" (Paul Kennedy).
2. A brief summary, as of a book or article; an abstract.
[Latin epitomē, a summary, from Greek, an abridgment, from epitemnein, to cut short : epi-, epi- + temnein, to cut; see tem- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.