AskDefine | Define epitome

Dictionary Definition



1 a standard or typical example; "he is the prototype of good breeding"; "he provided America with an image of the good father" [syn: prototype, paradigm, image]
2 a brief abstract (as of an article or book)

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /iˈpɪtəmi/, /i"pIt@mi/


  1. In the context of "of a class of items": The embodiment or encapsulation of.
  2. In the context of "of a class of items": A representative example.
  3. In the context of "of a class of items": The height; the best.
  4. In the context of "of a written document}} A brief summary.

Extensive Definition

An epitome (Greek epitemnein—to cut short) is a summary or miniature form, also used as a synonym for embodiment.


Many documents from the Ancient Greek and Roman worlds survive now only "in epitome," referring to the practice of some later authors (epitomators) who wrote distilled versions of larger works now lost. Some writers attempted to convey the stance and spirit of the original, while others added further details or anecdotes regarding the general subject. As with all secondary historical sources, a different bias not present in the original may creep in.
Documents surviving in epitome differ from those surviving only as fragments quoted in later works, and those used as unacknowledged sources by later scholars, as they can stand as discrete documents, albeit refracted through the views of another author.


Examples of epitomes providing the only record of now lost works include:


In computing, an epitome is a condensed digital representation of ordered datasets, such as matrices representing images, audio signals, videos, or genetic sequences. Although much smaller than the epitomized data, the epitome contains many of the smaller overlapping parts of the data with much less repetition and with some level of generalization. As such, it can be used for data mining and other machine learning and signal processing tasks. The first epitomic analysis was performed on image textures and was used for image parsing. The epitome model has also been applied to videos. Filling in missing parts of a video, removing objects from a scene and performing video super-resolution are examples of tasks in which the video epitome has proven useful. Epitomes are also being investigated as tools for rational vaccine design.


External links

epitome in German: Epitome
epitome in Spanish: Epítome
epitome in Galician: Epítome
epitome in Italian: Epitome

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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