ep·​och·​al | \ ˈe-pə-kəl How to pronounce epochal (audio) , ˈe-ˌpä-kəl \

Definition of epochal

1 : of or relating to an epoch
2 : uniquely or highly significant : momentous during his three epochal years in the assembly— C. G. Bowers also : unparalleled epochal stupidity

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Other Words from epochal

epochally adverb

Examples of epochal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In remarks dredged from the imagination of adviser Steve Bannon, the president drew a rhetorical line in the sand and enlisted his host—the Eurosceptic, right-wing populist Polish President Andrzej Duda—in an epochal fight. Kanishk Tharoor, The New Republic, "Pankaj Mishra’s Reckoning With Liberalism’s Bloody Past," 22 Feb. 2021 Then the drama turns to high tragedy when, in 1995, Rabin is cut down by a lone gunman opposed to the Oslo Accords and the prospects of epochal peace die with him. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Human Factor’ Review: Daunting Diplomacy," 21 Jan. 2021 Thompson almost wasn’t around for that epochal moment in San Antonio. ExpressNews.com, "Express Briefing: Anaqua Springs shooting deaths go back to detectives," 5 Jan. 2021 Around the world, climate change is becoming an epochal crisis, a nightmare of drought, desertification, flooding and unbearable heat, threatening to make vast regions less habitable and drive the greatest migration of refugees in history. New York Times, "How Russia Wins the Climate Crisis," 16 Dec. 2020 Proving the conjecture true or false would be an epochal event in number theory, allowing mathematicians to better understand the distribution of prime numbers. Quanta Magazine, "How the Slowest Computer Programs Illuminate Math’s Fundamental Limits," 10 Dec. 2020 Not, as was often prophesied, the most epochal election. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "This Election Was Full of Surprises," 6 Nov. 2020 The survey predicted the 2018 results, when Rouda and six other Democrats swept Orange County’s congressional seats — an epochal shift for a region long synonymous with conservatism. Stephanie Lai, Los Angeles Times, "Could Rohrabacher’s old seat flip red in Orange County? Experts say it’s a close call," 28 Oct. 2020 But in many ways, 9/11 — and the epochal conflagration that followed — feels distant. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Is the 9/11 era over?," 11 Sep. 2020

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

1685, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for epochal

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The first known use of epochal was in 1685

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Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Epochal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epochal. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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