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epithet - vocabulary

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noun

Any word or phrase applied to a person or thing and used to describe an actual or attributed quality, as in The Great Communicator used to describe Ronald Reagan or man’s best friend used to describe a dog.

Also, a term of abuse, as in racial epithets, though an epithet need not be derogatory.

Children, I grant, should be innocent; but when the epithet is applied to men, or women, it is but a civil term for weakness.

—Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)

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