Epitome E*pit"o*me, n.; pl. {Epitomes}. [L., fr. Gr. ? a surface incision, also, and abridgment, fr. ? to cut into, cut short; 'epi` upon + te`mnein to cut: cf. F. ['e]pitome. See {Tome}.] 1. A work in which the contents of a former work are reduced within a smaller space by curtailment and condensation; a brief summary; an abridgement. [1913 Webster]

[An] epitome of the contents of a very large book. --Sydney Smith. [1913 Webster]

2. A compact or condensed representation of anything; something possessing conspicuously or to a high degree the qualities of a class. [1913 Webster +PJC]

An epitome of English fashionable life. --Carlyle. [1913 Webster]

A man so various that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome. --Dryden.

Syn: Abridgement; compendium; compend; abstract; synopsis; abbreviature. See {Abridgment}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.