All terms

What is an Epigram?

A concise, witty, and often paradoxical statement.

The Art of Crafting Pithy and Witty Epigrams

An epigram is a short, clever, and paradoxical statement that can convey a profound meaning or insight in just a few words.

Often humorous, epigrams rely on wordplay, irony, or unexpected contrasts to create an effect of surprise or intellectual challenge.

Epigrams can be found in poetry, literature, and the art of conversation, where they serve as a way to communicate complex ideas in a memorable and engaging way.

Learning to craft epigrams requires a keen sense of language, a deep understanding of human nature, and a willingness to experiment with different forms and styles.

Epigrammatic Gems from Literature

Here are two examples of epigrams used in literature:

Oscar Wilde's Epigram on Marriage

'Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.'

—from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Alexander Pope's Epigram on Satire

'Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.'

—from Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope