apoc·​a·​lyp·​tic | \ ə-ˌpä-kə-ˈlip-tik \
variants: or less commonly apocalyptical \ -​ti-​kəl \

Definition of apocalyptic

1 : of, relating to, or resembling an apocalypse apocalyptic events
2 : forecasting the ultimate destiny of the world : prophetic apocalyptic warnings
3 : foreboding imminent disaster or final doom : terrible apocalyptic signs of the coming end-times
4 : wildly unrestrained : grandiose
5 : ultimately decisive : climactic an apocalyptic battle

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Other Words from apocalyptic

apocalyptically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms for apocalyptic


climacteric, climactic

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Examples of apocalyptic in a Sentence

No one listened to her apocalyptic predictions. a less apocalyptic view of the future the apocalyptic destruction of the world
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bird Box is post-apocalyptic horror, with moments of intense violence and elements reminiscent of movies like Night of the Living Dead, A Quiet Place, and Children of Men. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Sandra Bullock is the best part of Bird Box, Netflix’s new post-apocalyptic thriller," 20 Dec. 2018 The movie cuts back and forth between that journey and the period five years prior, when bizarre apocalyptic horror was unleashed across the globe with the arrival of the beings. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Sandra Bullock is the best part of Bird Box, Netflix’s new post-apocalyptic thriller," 20 Dec. 2018 Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is an open-world zombie-survival game set in the the deadly apocalyptic wastes of near-future New England. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "If You Can't Beat It, Code It," 17 Dec. 2018 But there is definitely cause for concern, since the red angel showed him an apocalyptic vision. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Spock smiles in the face of danger in new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery S2," 13 Dec. 2018 In this post-apocalyptic world where all bets are off, who 's more equipped to set things straight than women who cast literal spells? Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This American Horror Story: Apocalypse Theory About the Coven Witches Is Spot-On," 13 Sep. 2018 In a post-apocalyptic future where resources are running low, entire cities have been rebuilt as vast machines that travel the landscape and attack other moving cities for resources. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, December 2018," 7 Sep. 2018 The Rain, thrilling and narratively complex, scoots past this detail in order to get on with the more interesting story: how Simone and Rasmus survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Would Simone & Rasmus Have Survived Their Five-Year Bunker Stay In The Rain?," 7 May 2018 Last week's episode, without the benefit of that lead-in, drew a little more than 3 million viewers, per Nielsen data, which represents marked improvement over the apocalyptic drama's third-season average. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Fear the Walking Dead' hastens makeover with surprise twist," 29 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apocalyptic.' 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 apocalyptic

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apocalyptic

borrowed from New Latin apocalypticus, derivative of apocalypsis apocalypse, by analogy with pairs such as ellīpsis ellipsis : ellīpticus elliptic

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for apocalyptic

The first known use of apocalyptic was in 1633

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English Language Learners Definition of apocalyptic

: of, relating to, or involving terrible violence and destruction

: of or relating to the end of the world

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More from Merriam-Webster on apocalyptic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apocalyptic

Spanish Central: Translation of apocalyptic

Nglish: Translation of apocalyptic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on apocalyptic

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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