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

As smoky, apocalyptic-looking skies spread across western North America, researchers are scrambling to improve their predictions of wildfire risk. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Is a hot climate or a dry climate key for forest fire risk?," 24 Aug. 2018 Citizens had no trouble transplanting that vision of a post-apocalyptic-looking nightmare onto Dallas. NBC News, "Dockless bikes promise the future of transportation, but litter the city of Dallas," 16 Apr. 2018 At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul, which wrapped up last Friday, the majority of the city’s collections were streetwear based, injected with a sense of apocalyptic doom and gloom, or proposed in genderless, yet flamboyant variations. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "Asli Filinta Is the Name to Know From Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Istanbul," 26 Mar. 2019 Back in Riverdale, Hiram’s quarantine has been lifted, but the town is in semi-apocalyptic disarray with no sheriff and limited contact with the outside world. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale Just Came Dangerously Close to Killing Archie," 17 Jan. 2019 Some have suggested that those with toothless beaks were better at eating seeds and grains, which would have more easily survived in the apocalyptic landscape than the plants that made them. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also shaped the evolution of birds," 24 May 2018 No matter how bad things get in his recent apocalyptic action movies, action star Dwayne Johnson frequently seems in a weirdly good mood. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Rampage': The Rock in a hard place | Movie review," 11 Apr. 2018 The pair were also joined by the rapper Travis Scott and the Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster as players in the game, where teams battle to be the last one standing in an apocalyptic landscape. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "Drake Conquers Another Streaming Service: Twitch," 15 Mar. 2018 Even the apocalyptic set design and wardrobe for the tour—somewhere between Mad Max and Blade Runner—seemed to foreshadow darker days. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Rihanna on Body Image, Turning 30, and Staying Real—No Matter What," 3 May 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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Statistics for apocalyptic

Last Updated

18 May 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).


a strong desire or propensity

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