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

The episode revolved around a speed dating event anchored by all seven cast members, including the ones with long-term boyfriends. refinery29.com, "The Most Awkward Parts Of The RHONY Speed Dating Adventure," 12 July 2018 Watch the clip below, and find out if the judges let him through to the next round when the episode airs tonight at 8/7c on NBC. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "12-Year-Old Angel Garcia Wows With Spanish-Language Song 'El Triste' on 'AGT': Watch," 10 July 2018 Before the episode aired, Janet shared a throwback photo on Instagram from TV show's set. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Janet Mock Wrote and Directed an Episode of "Pose" and Made TV History," 9 July 2018 Here is another unresolved episode that might be weighing on Manafort’s decision. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 Season two will consist of 10 episodes — up from six in its freshman run. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sweetbitter' Renewed for Season 2 at Starz," 13 July 2018 Shark Week, the annual TV celebration to all things sharks, marks its 30th year this summer with a wave of new episodes featuring celebrities and scientists. Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "'Shark Week' returns to Miami for 30th anniversary and features appearances by 'Gronk' and 'Shark Tank' stars," 13 July 2018 Brian Percival, who directed the series’ pilot and a number of episodes, will direct the film, which will begin shooting later this summer. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Downton Abbey’ movie is a go, with original cast," 13 July 2018 Maslany was brilliant as ever in a run of final episodes showcasing her ability to inhabit a host of wildly different characters. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 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

9 Nov 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).


playful or foolish behavior

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