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 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 Although Diana is an icon of peace, waking up in a post-apocalyptic world gives her plenty of opportunity to fight monsters to protect the last surviving humans, and Johnson depicts these battles with true visual panache. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Best new comics to read in December: Do superheroes get a happy ending?," 5 Dec. 2020 Tallahassee was obsessed with finding the remaining Twinkies in a post-apocalyptic world. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Garland breweries team up for 'Zombieland’ beers made with Twinkies for Halloween," 30 Oct. 2020 Filmmaker Sarah Gertrude Shapiro remembers a particularly apocalyptic moment when a record-setting heat wave broiled Los Angeles, as blazes burned in all directions. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "‘Today is the day that life has changed’: An oral history of L.A., COVID-19 and 2020," 3 Jan. 2021 The apocalyptic images, some said, could offer a glimpse of the future if governments do not better adapt to the threat of climate change, to which the prevalence of wildfires has been linked. Washington Post, "2020 was a remarkably difficult year — not only because of the pandemic," 30 Dec. 2020 The persistent drought and the Mars-red skies of apocalyptic fires have driven the deer and wild turkeys down from the hills. Joseph Horton, Time, "An After-Curfew Drive With My New Baby Brought the Lessons of the Pandemic Into Sharper Focus," 28 Dec. 2020 Another resident said the scene of destruction was like an apocalyptic movie. Hollie Silverman And Eric Levenson, CNN, "Motor home's speakers gave evacuation warnings before Nashville explosion on Christmas," 26 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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apocalyptic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalyptic. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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Nglish: Translation of apocalyptic for Spanish Speakers

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