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 apocalyptical (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 apocalyptically (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 The Nellie E occupies the site of an old mining camp, a terraced oasis spread across rocky hills that manages to look both historic and post-apocalyptic. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "The best things to do in Arizona in 2020: A month-by-month guide to big adventures," 27 Dec. 2019 Finally, perhaps most like the trio above, this newest Mad Max film took a decidedly different approach to its familiar post-apocalyptic world. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Ars’ favorite movies of the 2010s (John Wick most definitely included)," 23 Dec. 2019 This post-apocalyptic tableau was on full display on the campus of PolyU, as the school is better known, a dense 23-acre cluster of rectangular brick buildings and cylindrical towers. Timothy Mclaughlin, Wired, "How Hong Kong’s Protests Turned Into a Mad Max Tableau," 21 Dec. 2019 The climate talks in Madrid may have failed to achieve much, but a solution to the Indian capital’s apocalyptic winters might just be in sight, with a little help from the industry. Amanat Khullar, Quartz India, "A solution to Delhi’s apocalyptic winters might just be in sight," 23 Dec. 2019 No apocalyptic scenario is complete without roving mobs of flesh eaters. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Romanoff political ad needs more zombies, less climate fear," 19 Dec. 2019 Trump’s conspiracy framing relies upon a similar apocalyptic story. Jennifer Mercieca, The Conversation, "Law-and-order or conspiracy? How political parties frame the impeachment battle will help decide Trump’s fate," 12 Nov. 2019 Last Christmas is her first genuine opportunity to play an ordinary person—flawed, jokey, and burdened only with her own personal drama rather than the fate of a planet, an apocalyptic future, or a clutch of magical dragons. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Last Christmas Is a Welcome Dose of Sweetness," 6 Nov. 2019 Only the neornithines made it through that apocalyptic event. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of apocalyptic was in 1633

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Statistics for apocalyptic

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apocalyptic.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalyptic. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for apocalyptic


How to pronounce apocalyptic (audio)

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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Spanish Central: Translation of apocalyptic

Nglish: Translation of apocalyptic for Spanish Speakers

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