Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

apocalypse

play
noun apoc·a·lypse \ə-ˈpä-kə-ˌlips\

Simple Definition of apocalypse

  • : a great disaster : a sudden and very bad event that causes much fear, loss, or destruction

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of apocalypse

  1. 1 a :  one of the Jewish and Christian writings of 200 b.c. to a.d. 150 marked by pseudonymity, symbolic imagery, and the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom b capitalized :  revelation 3

  2. 2 a :  something viewed as a prophetic revelation b :  armageddon

  3. 3 :  a great disaster <an environmental apocalypse>

Examples of apocalypse in a sentence

  1. His book tells of an environmental apocalypse.

  2. <the fear that the next global pandemic could be an apocalypse of biblical proportions>



Origin and Etymology of apocalypse

Middle English, revelation, Revelation, from Anglo-French apocalipse, from Late Latin apocalypsis, from Greek apokalypsis, from apokalyptein to uncover, from apo- + kalyptein to cover — more at hell


First Known Use: 13th century




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up apocalypse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

beat defame divulge placate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ