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 From NBC News, this is a special bonus episode of Article II: Inside Impeachment. NBC News, "Transcript: The Report," 4 Dec. 2019 That fear isn’t entirely unfounded; with each episode of depression, there is an increased likelihood of another one. Glamour, "The Stigma of Being a Medicated Mom," 3 Dec. 2019 As the caretaker begged our clinic’s nurse to track down Betty’s doctor and tell him that Betty was having a psychotic episode, Betty stood between her and the apartment’s front door with a kitchen knife. The Economist, "Gender identity is hard but jumping to medical solutions is worse," 3 Dec. 2019 Another episode earlier that year on nearby Westminster Bridge left six people dead, including the attacker. Megan Specia, New York Times, "London Bridge Attack Victims Were Advocates for Prisoner Rehabilitation," 2 Dec. 2019 The reboot dedicated an episode to the character in 2017. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Shelley Morrison, Rosario the Maid on 'Will & Grace,' Dies at 83," 2 Dec. 2019 Megan Montgomery and her previous husband, along with her father and his wife, appeared in a 2016 episode of HGTV’s House Hunters. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Ex-cop surrenders after estranged wife found dead in Mountain Brook," 2 Dec. 2019 Alongside starring in the series, Ian is also directing several episodes and is an executive producer. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast of "V Wars" and Their Characters," 2 Dec. 2019 The book offers a guide to characters, puppets and episodes. Leanne Italie, Twin Cities, "Coffee table books are great gifts — even if you don’t have a coffee table," 30 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for episode

Time Traveler

The first known use of episode was in 1678

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Statistics for episode

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Episode.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/episodes. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for episode


How to pronounce episode (audio)

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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