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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Just Roll With It The studio audience gets to decide what happens in each episode in this new family-friendly sitcom/sketch-show hybrid. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Yellowstone’ on Paramount and CMT," 18 June 2019 With the episode finally airing, Rynn, who now lives in Los Angeles to pursue her music career, hopes to build off the momentum from her brush with TV fame. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "Canton singer-songwriter Rynn impresses Jonas Brothers on NBC’s ‘Songland’," 18 June 2019 The next episode of Little Women: Atlanta (produced by Kinetic Content) airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on Lifetime. Tomás Mier, PEOPLE.com, "Little Women: Atlanta Star Amanda Salinas' Wedding Turns Emotional During Father-Daughter Dance," 13 June 2019 Each episode investigates one story, breaking down the often unseen economic and technological forces shaping our future. Molly Rubin, Quartzy, "You don’t need more exercise, you just need to move," 13 June 2019 Yes, each episode is emotional, but also incredibly informative. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Is the Worst Renovation Mistake You Can Make, According to the Property Brothers," 11 June 2019 Whatever the situation, the single episode never aired... ...until this week, of course. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Kevin Bacon shares the Tremors TV pilot—Val is washed, Graboids are hungry," 9 June 2019 Each episode investigates one story, breaking down the often unseen economic and technological forces shaping our future. Michael Tabb, Quartz, "Scientists are reclaiming psychedelics as “wonder drugs.” Is it time to decriminalize them?," 6 June 2019 In each episode of the competition, one winning songwriter will have their song recorded and released by a superstar guest recording artist. Madeleine Fernando, Billboard, "Publishing Briefs: Rosalía Inks Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group, NBC's 'Songland' Partners with BMG & More," 6 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about episode

Dictionary Entries near episode








Statistics for episode

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for episode

The first known use of episode was in 1678

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!