apocalypse

noun
apoc·​a·​lypse | \ ə-ˈpä-kə-ˌlips \
plural apocalypses

Definition of apocalypse

1a : 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
2a : something viewed as a prophetic revelation
3a : 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

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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

But at the same time, despite what the doomsayers say, the information apocalypse is not quite nigh. James Vincent, The Verge, "These faces show how far AI image generation has advanced in just four years," 17 Dec. 2018 When Anna wakes up the next morning, the zombie apocalypse is in full force, and senior year becomes one long, bloody battle for survival. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New trailer for Anna and the Apocalypse promises undead slaying for holidays," 5 Sep. 2018 Within them, the reservation has become the nation of Dinétah — but while the worst of the apocalypse has been kept out, Dinétah has its own problems. New York Times, "Heart-Hammering Science Fiction and Fantasy Thrillers," 22 June 2018 The post-apocalypse as a story trend has come and gone and come again, but stories with relatable themes and characters are always fresh and appealing. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s midseason finale got the show back on track," 26 Nov. 2018 It is besotted with apocalypse, a wide-screen search for a cosmic conclusion. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Benjamin West at PAFA: 'Death is a lightning-spewing zombie on a white horse, spreading terror'," 16 May 2018 But a post-apocalypse can take many forms, so what will ours look like? Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Supercut of Hollywood Apocalypses Shows Our Inevitable Future," 14 Dec. 2016 Cordelia forced all the witches to lose their memory, prior to the apocalypse. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "13 “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” Fan Theories That Might Predict What Is Ahead," 1 Nov. 2018 To them, eclipses were a harbinger of danger — quite specifically, the apocalypse. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "A Beginner's Guide to Eclipses in 2018 and How They Can Affect Your Life," 16 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apocalypse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apocalypse

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

History and Etymology for apocalypse

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.

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for apocalypse

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

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More Definitions for apocalypse

apocalypse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of apocalypse

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

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