apoc·​a·​lyp·​tic | \ ə-ˌpä-kə-ˈlip-tik How to pronounce apocalyptic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly apocalyptical \ ə-​ˌpä-​kə-​ˈlip-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce apocalyptic (audio) \

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 \ ə-​ˌpä-​kə-​ˈlip-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apocalyptic (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for apocalyptic


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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 For the most part, though, those cinematic visions of a post-apocalyptic future have been more about popcorn than the kernels of truth. NBC News, "Creators of dystopian sci-fi are as shocked by the events of 2020 as you are," 31 Oct. 2020 The mood perfectly captures what happened at the U.S. Capitol — fevered, dark, and apocalyptic. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Flight 93 Post-Election," 15 Jan. 2021 What accounts for the stock market’s splendid disregard for so many dismal, even apocalyptic, events? Jeff Sommer, New York Times, "The Markets’ Strange Disregard for the Chaos in Washington," 8 Jan. 2021 In his inaugural address four years earlier, Trump had previewed the defiant, even apocalyptic rhetoric that would be his signature, bringing a look of revulsion from outgoing first lady Michelle Obama and a shocked expletive from George W. Bush. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "With plain language and open emotion, Biden urges shaken nation to regain its footing in wake of divisive president," 20 Jan. 2021 In 12 Monkeys, Railly has written a book called The Doomsday Syndrome and gives a lecture at a museum about madness and apocalyptic visions. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, "‘We Told You So’: Revisiting the Bleak, Pandemic-Filled World of 12 Monkeys, 25 Years Later," 18 Jan. 2021 President Trump's apocalyptic theater, with himself as the protector of Christianity, played out last summer on the very spot where Mr. Biden will start his Inauguration Day: St. John's Church, just steps from the White House. CBS News, "Inauguration 2021: The task for Joe Biden, and for America," 17 Jan. 2021 The Horizon series is a new and exciting RPG IP that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is forced to live in tribes to survive in a world overrun by advanced machines (large robots in animal form). Washington Post, "The most anticipated games of 2021," 29 Dec. 2020 The tone of its post-apocalyptic world is not unceasing despair but melancholic inconsistency. Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker, "The Italian Novelist Who Envisioned a World Without Humanity," 28 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for apocalyptic

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The first known use of apocalyptic was in 1633

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Statistics for apocalyptic

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apocalyptic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalyptic. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for apocalyptic



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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Nglish: Translation of apocalyptic for Spanish Speakers

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