ep·​i·​sode | \ ˈe-pə-ˌsōd also -ˌzōd How to pronounce episode (audio) \

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

Clad in a shiny, ruffly, chest-baring chartreuse shirt, Spicer shimmied gamely into the show’s Art-Deco-camp studio at the beginning of the episode. Judy Berman, Time, "Sean Spicer Was an Extremely Good Sport on Dancing With the Stars. That's Exactly the Problem," 17 Sep. 2019 This is Mr Snowden’s account of an episode that still provokes powerful emotions. The Economist, "Edward Snowden’s memoir reveals some (but not all)," 13 Sep. 2019 The bulk of the episode would then feature other characters acting out the eerie tale. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?," 13 Sep. 2019 The America's Got Talent 2019 finalist list was officially set at the end of last night's semifinals episode. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT' Twitter Is Fuming About the “Unbelievable” and “Disappointing” Semifinal Results," 12 Sep. 2019 At the very beginning of the first episode of The Deuce, right after the static crackle of the HBO logo and the sounds of traffic and subway trains coming into soft focus, a man and a woman sat at a bar. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "How The Deuce Sidelined Desire," 11 Sep. 2019 The spectacle of the Trump Presidency often overwhelms our ability to process the stakes of any individual episode. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump Finally Fired John Bolton, but Does It Really Matter?," 11 Sep. 2019 But the bulk of the experience is made up of separate episodes. Wired, "Adam Savage’s New VR App Lets You Visit Maker Workshops," 11 Sep. 2019 The second of the eight episodes will air tonight on HGTV. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "Minnesota couple helps growing families decide whether to stay or sell — on HGTV," 10 Sep. 2019

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

12 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce episode (audio) \

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 How to pronounce episodically (audio) \ 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 wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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