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

Pictures released by NWS Sacramento showed the scorched area resembling an apocalyptic wasteland. Chris Irvine, Fox News, "'Fire tornado' reached 143 mph as it caused path of destruction in scorched California," 3 Aug. 2018 Some are reminiscent of post-apocalyptic fiction, and yet the calamities Groff describes are familiar to anyone who has spent time in the Sunshine State. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 12 Nov. 2018 Then Yuskavage pulled back and placed her women in fantastical, post-apocalyptic scenes, fields of trees and flowers dotted with piles of dead fish. Thomas Gebremedhin, WSJ, "Lisa Yuskavage’s Art Continues to Defy Characterization," 6 Nov. 2018 Like Maze Runner, the project will be a post-apocalyptic story, but in Monster Problems, a man survives a monster apocalypse in order to be with the woman of his dreams. Nicole Weaver, Teen Vogue, "Dylan O'Brien Is in Talks to Star in Post-Apocalyptic Drama "Monster Problems"," 24 Oct. 2018 Paulson, also pictured in Murphy's snap alongside Lange, is reprising her Coven and Murder House roles this time, as well as introducing a new character—a mysterious, post-apocalyptic warden known as Ms Venable. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Ryan Murphy Finally Shared the First Look at Jessica Lange's Return to American Horror Story," 20 Sep. 2018 In this post-apocalyptic land, women reign by default. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Diane Lane Is Coming To FX In Pilot Y, About A Future Where There's Only One Man Left," 11 July 2018 These numbers may sound apocalyptic, but a gruesome 2015 video seemed to change the tide by drawing attention to the problem. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Aardvark paper straws: This Fort Wayne company has your plastic straw alternative," 24 June 2018 The language gets downright apocalyptic and this time is no different. Fox News, "Sekulow: Kavanaugh will be a brilliant Supreme Court justice," 10 July 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

30 Nov 2018

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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

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