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epiphany

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noun epiph·a·ny \i-ˈpi-fə-nē\

Simple Definition of epiphany

  • Epiphany : a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ

  • : a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of epiphany

plural epiphanies

  1. 1 capitalized :  January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ

  2. 2 :  an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being

  3. 3 a (1) :  a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) :  an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) :  an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b :  a revealing scene or moment

Examples of epiphany in a sentence

  1. Invention has its own algorithm: genius, obsession, serendipity, and epiphany in some unknowable combination. —Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, 12 May 2008

  2. One day, a New York composer met an expert on Asian domesticated elephants, and together they reached some sort of freakish epiphany and decided to see if elephants could learn to play music. —Jon Pareles, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2002

  3. One epiphany came when a dozen engineers in northern New Mexico saw a lone, fading Xerox paper carton bobbing in a swamp of old motor oil at the bottom of a pit. —Michelle Conlin, Business Week, 1 Nov. 1999

  4. Seeing her father again when she was an adult was an epiphany that changed her whole view of her childhood.



Origin of epiphany

Middle English epiphanie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin epiphania, from Late Greek, plural, probably alteration of Greek epiphaneia appearance, manifestation, from epiphainein to manifest, from epi- + phainein to show — more at fancy


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Calendar Terms

Rhymes with epiphany



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