apocalypse

noun

apoc·​a·​lypse ə-ˈpä-kə-ˌlips How to pronounce apocalypse (audio)
plural apocalypses
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 sense 3
2
a
: something viewed as a prophetic revelation
3
a
: a large, disastrous fire : inferno
Most foresters agree that small, "prescribed" burns, carefully controlled, are essential to prevent the larger apocalypse.Lance Morrow
b
: a great disaster
an environmental apocalypse

Examples of apocalypse in a Sentence

His book tells of an environmental apocalypse. the fear that the next global pandemic could be an apocalypse of biblical proportions
Recent Examples on the Web Meantime an apocalypse, glimpsed in a few brief images, rages all over London, and presumably elsewhere. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 14 June 2024 Nothing like an apocalypse to give an artist like Cale a blast of late-game inspiration. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 13 June 2024 But the prospect of global apocalypse that degrowthers keep emphasizing also has the perverse effect of making local measures sound acutely inadequate. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, 8 June 2024 In April, Raimondo appointed Paul Christiano, a researcher with a track record of grave predictions about AI apocalypse, as head of AI safety at the U.S. AI Safety Institute. Will Henshall, TIME, 6 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for apocalypse 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apocalypse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English Apocalipse "Revelation (the New Testament book)," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin apocalypsis "revelation, the Book of Revelation," borrowed from Greek apokálypsis "uncovering, disclosure, revelation," from apokalyp-, stem of apokalýptein "to uncover, disclose, reveal" (from apo- apo- + kalýptein "to cover, protect, conceal," of uncertain origin) + -sis -sis

Note: Greek kalýptein is associated in older handbooks with Indo-European *ḱel- "conceal" (see conceal), though neither the vocalism nor the supposed extension *-up- are easily explicable.

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of apocalypse was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near apocalypse

Cite this Entry

“Apocalypse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalypse. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

apocalypse

1 of 2 noun
apoc·​a·​lypse
ə-ˈpä-kə-ˌlips
1
: something thought of as a prophetic revelation
2
a
: the place or time of the final battle between good and evil
b
: a decisive battle
3
: a great disaster
apocalyptic
ə-ˌpä-kə-ˈlip-tik
adjective

Apocalypse

2 of 2 noun
: one of the Jewish and Christian writings of 200 b.c. to a.d. 150 by an author writing under a pseudonym that is marked by 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 heavenly kingdom see bible

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