Definition of epiphany
1 capitalized : January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ
2 : an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
3a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosureb : a revealing scene or moment
Examples of epiphany in a Sentence
Invention has its own algorithm: genius, obsession, serendipity, and epiphany in some unknowable combination. —Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, 12 May 2008
One day, a New York composer met an expert on Asian domesticated elephants, and together they reached some sort of freakish epiphany and decided to see if elephants could learn to play music. —Jon Pareles, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2002
One epiphany came when a dozen engineers in northern New Mexico saw a lone, fading Xerox paper carton bobbing in a swamp of old motor oil at the bottom of a pit. —Michelle Conlin, Business Week, 1 Nov. 1999
Seeing her father again when she was an adult was an epiphany that changed her whole view of her childhood.
Recent Examples of epiphany from the Web
Wright’s epiphany was the beginning and also the beginning of the end.
When Mr. Day and Mr. Schwartz considered a compromise — removing the Andrew Marc label from the jackets’ insides — Mr. Day had an epiphany about the importance of brands.
Flipping past the guy with the world’s longest fingernails and the heaviest house cat ever, Galvin saw a photo of a bloke bog snorkeling and had an epiphany.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epiphany'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of epiphany
Middle English epiphanie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin epiphania, from Late Greek, plural, probably alteration of Greek epiphaneia appearance, manifestation, from epiphainein to manifest, from epi- + phainein to show — more at fancy
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
EPIPHANY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of epiphany for English Language Learners
Epiphany : a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ
: a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way
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