apoc·​ry·​pha ə-ˈpä-krə-fə How to pronounce apocrypha (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: writings or statements of dubious authenticity
: books included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but excluded from the Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament see Bible Table
: early Christian writings not included in the New Testament

Examples of apocrypha in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The apocrypha, which totals three-and-a-half hours of music, will finally come out on June 30 via a three-disc set titled Funky Nothingness. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 21 Apr. 2023 Anthony was a deviser of his own apocrypha. E. Alex Jung, Vulture, 2 Aug. 2021 The apocrypha are a collection of Scriptures accepted by Catholics and Orthodox Christians as sacred but contested by Protestants. Dallas News, 19 Sep. 2022 Some cocktails have a history so contested, so laden with switchbacks and apocrypha, the general experience is like opening a compass to find the needle spinning freely in place. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 6 Aug. 2022 Even Steve Jobs wouldn’t let his kids play with iPads, or so the apocrypha goes. Carter Bays, Good Housekeeping, 6 June 2022 Why complicate a perfectly fun bunch of sequels with the strictures of continuity and apocrypha? Adam Rogers, Wired, 11 Feb. 2021 Where Nay’s book was something of a meditation on Patriotic themes in Mormon teaching, the Bundy additions — this post-2014 apocrypha — change the entire document. Leah Sottile, Longreads, 18 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apocrypha.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin, neuter plural (for scripta apocrypha "uncanonical writings") of Late Latin apocryphus "secret, of doubtful authenticity, uncanonical," borrowed from Greek apókryphos "hidden, concealed, obscure," verbal adjective of apokrýptein "to hide (from), keep hidden (from)," from apo- apo- + krýptein "to conceal, hide" — more at crypt

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of apocrypha was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near apocrypha

Cite this Entry

“Apocrypha.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocrypha. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun singular or plural
: writings or statements of doubtful authenticity


2 of 2 noun singular or plural
: books included in some collections of biblical writings but excluded from the Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament see bible

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