ep·i·sode | \ ˈe-pə-ˌsōd also -ˌzōd \

Definition of episode 

1 : a usually brief unit of action in a dramatic or literary work: such as

a : the part of an ancient Greek tragedy between two choric songs

b : a developed situation that is integral to but separable from a continuous narrative : incident

c : one of a series of loosely connected stories or scenes

d : the part of a serial presented at one performance

2 : an event that is distinctive and separate although part of a larger series

3 : a digressive subdivision in a musical composition

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Choose the Right Synonym for episode

occurrence, event, incident, episode, circumstance mean something that happens or takes place. occurrence may apply to a happening without intent, volition, or plan. an encounter that was a chance occurrence event usually implies an occurrence of some importance and frequently one having antecedent cause. the events following the assassination incident suggests an occurrence of brief duration or secondary importance. a minor wartime incident episode stresses the distinctiveness or apartness of an incident. a brief romantic episode in a life devoted to work circumstance implies a specific detail attending an action or event as part of its setting or background. couldn't recall the exact circumstances

Examples of episode in a Sentence

It was a brief romantic episode in a life devoted to work. He tried to forget the whole embarrassing episode. a painful episode from my childhood Millions of people are expected to watch the show's final episode.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Colbert said on Wednesday night’s episode of The Late Show. Melissa Locker, Time, "Trump's NATO Remarks Did Not Surprise Stephen Colbert at All," 12 July 2018 The mother-daughter duo teamed up to compete on Thursday’s episode of Double Dare, Nickelodeon’s revival of the popular ’90s game show known for its messy physical challenges. PEOPLE.com, "See Jamie Lynn Spears and Daughter Maddie Get Pied in the Face as They Compete on Double Dare," 12 July 2018 The German car makers have taken it on themselves to make lemonade out of this episode by promoting a zero-for-zero solution—which, by the way, would be a big win for U.S. consumers. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Is Trump’s Car War a Bluff?," 10 July 2018 In this episode of Go To Bed With Me, Chambers walks us through her entire nighttime skin routine. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Elizabeth Chambers Hammer's Nighttime Skin Routine Includes a Slice of Fresh Papaya," 10 July 2018 This episode did not cure Adams of his habitual overconfidence. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 Michelle Beadle reacted to the news on Friday’s episode of Get Up!, and questioned why any franchise would believe Leonard could deliver as a leader of a franchise given what’s happened in San Antonio. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Michelle Beadle eviscerates Kawhi Leonard: 'What are you doing with your career?'," 6 July 2018 Robert Dean is the producer of this Monday's episode with Keith Morrison, The Threat. Dateline Nbc, NBC News, "At the Desk of: Robert Dean, Dateline Producer of ‘The Threat’," 6 July 2018 The injuries Wyatt suffered in the crash caused him to miss WWE’s house shows this weekend and Monday’s episode of Raw. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "Bray Wyatt Cited for Careless Driving in Three-Car Crash," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'episode.' 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 episode

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for episode

Greek epeisodion, from neuter of epeisodios coming in besides, from epi- + eisodios coming in, from eis into (akin to Greek en in) + hodos road, journey — more at in

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Statistics for episode

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for episode

The first known use of episode was in 1678

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More Definitions for episode



English Language Learners Definition of episode

: an event or a short period of time that is important or unusual

: a television show, radio show, etc., that is one part of a series

: an occurrence of an illness


ep·i·sode | \ ˈe-pə-ˌsōd \

Kids Definition of episode

1 : an event or one of a series of events that stands out clearly I'm trying to forget the whole embarrassing episode.

2 : one in a series of connected stories or performances


ep·i·sode | \ ˈep-ə-ˌsōd also -ˌzōd \

Medical Definition of episode 

: an event that is distinctive and separate although part of a larger series especially : an occurrence of a usually recurrent pathological abnormal condition a manic episode hypoglycemic episodes

Other words from episode

episodic \ˌep-ə-ˈsäd-ik also -ˈzäd- \ adjective
episodically \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

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Comments on episode

What made you want to look up episode? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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