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

That sort of makes literal those feelings, where a breakup can feel apocalyptic, like the world is ending. Mark Olsen, chicagotribune.com, "Disturbed and confused by ‘Midsommar’? Let the filmmakers explain," 5 July 2019 That sort of makes literal those feelings, where a breakup can feel apocalyptic, like the world is ending. Mark Olsen, latimes.com, "Disturbed and confused by ‘Midsommar’? Let the filmmakers explain," 3 July 2019 But then Cave coaxed the fearful father to reconsider his apocalyptic despair, offering the example of his own family. Daniel Burke, CNN, "A rock star was asked what God's voice sounds like. His answer is beautiful," 29 June 2019 When Survivor debuted around the turn of the century it was universally denounced as an apocalyptic phenomenon that was going to destroy the culture and all human beings. Jonny Auping, Longreads, "‘TV Has This Really Fraught Relationship with the Audience.’," 25 June 2019 In classic Hollywood hype fashion, the trailer ups the stakes and makes everything feel even more apocalyptic than usual. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Final Stranger Things 3 trailer makes it feel more like an action movie," 21 June 2019 The strain of generational apocalyptic ennui that seems to have put a stamp on many 21st-century teenagers started in California with bands like Blink-182. John Adamian, courant.com, "Blink-182, on 20th anniversary tour, with Lil Wayne at Xfinity," 21 June 2019 The apocalyptic language and finger-pointing made clear that Trump’s 2020 campaign will probably look a whole lot like his run three years ago. Michael Schneider, The Denver Post, "Trump, in 2020 campaign mode, calls Democrats “radical”," 19 June 2019 Opponents of net neutrality could have made their case without channeling a dark, ominous, apocalyptic future. Christopher Tremoglie, National Review, "We Survived the Net-Neutrality Apocalypse," 17 June 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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Statistics for apocalyptic

Last Updated

13 Jul 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

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characterized by aphorism

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