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
For Gambetti, a neuropathologist, unraveling the mystery of that illness would become a scientific epiphany.
The Marlins are hoping for a feel-good story of epiphany and resurrection of a pitcher whose game had slipped off the rails.
Unless that last at-bat was magic, some kind of epiphany, theeeeeeeee answer for his miserable offensive season, then Schwarber has the same problems in a different location, which isn’t a surprise.
People with extreme weight-loss stories often are moved by an epiphany to turn their lives around.
During a bike ride with her mom last fall, Littell noticed someone smoking and had the epiphany of starting a bike race to raise money to help people quit.
But for others, personal epiphanies are harder to compartmentalize.
Almost 40 years later, that epiphany held true for me, too.
Cleveland.com sports columnist Doug Lesmerises had an epiphany after listening to Kizer talk about his readiness (or lack of) to compete for the starting job.
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up epiphany? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).