rev·​e·​la·​tion | \ˌre-və-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of revelation 

1a : an act of revealing or communicating divine truth

b : something that is revealed by God to humans

2a : an act of revealing to view or making known

b : something that is revealed especially : an enlightening or astonishing disclosure shocking revelations

c : a pleasant often enlightening surprise her talent was a revelation

3 capitalized : an apocalyptic writing addressed to early Christians of Asia Minor and included as a book in the New Testament

called also Apocalypse

— see Bible Table

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Synonyms for revelation


disclosure, divulgence, exposure

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Examples of revelation in a Sentence

The book includes many shocking revelations about the mayor's personal life. The revelation that she was a drug user was not a surprise to me. Revelations by the newspaper caused a scandal.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Hermione and Penelope get in a fight about this revelation and Featherhead comes in and gives everyone four more detentions. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "Someone Died in the Riverdale Flashback Episode and I Need to Talk About It ASAP," 8 Nov. 2018 Harvey, who previously emerged as a revelation for the New York Mets, owns a 5.39 ERA over that same span, making him little more than a reclamation project rather than a $200 million ace. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Best Free-Agent Class in Baseball History Has Lost Its Luster," 7 Nov. 2018 Major revelations will be occurring toward the end of the month (especially regarding work), so prepare for some big news. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 Elsewhere in Congress, Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, plans to proceed with another investigation into Pruitt that has already made mountains of headlines with its revelations. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt is still under investigation by EPA watchdog," 13 July 2018 Keep in mind this was before the revelations about the NSA, and well before the 2016 presidential election, Cambridge Analytica, and the current debate in the public forum and within government chambers around the world about data privacy rights. Rachel King, Fortune, "Your Summer Reading List: Page-Turning Novels Set in Politics, Finance, and Tech," 6 July 2018 For most tech companies, that triumphalism continued all the way through the 2016 election, when revelations about misinformation and foreign meddling forced an industry-wide reckoning with its own power. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Civic Tech in a Time of Technopessimism," 25 June 2018 But weeks of testimony turned up little in the way of damaging revelations about AT&T’s plans. Felix Gillette,, "Get Ready for Big Media to Get Bigger After AT&T Victory," 13 June 2018 Joel Winston, a privacy lawyer who has examined the legal rights of DNA-testing customers, said continuing revelations about Ancestry and other companies should prompt Congress to act. Author: Stuart Leavenworth, Anchorage Daily News, "DNA testing is like the 'Wild West.' Should it be more tightly regulated?," 9 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for revelation

Middle English revelacioun, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin revelation-, revelatio, from Latin revelare to reveal

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for revelation

The first known use of revelation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of revelation

: a usually secret or surprising fact that is made known

: an act of making something known : an act of revealing something in usually a surprising way

: something that surprises you


rev·​e·​la·​tion | \ˌre-və-ˈlā-shən \

Kids Definition of revelation

: a secret or surprising fact that is made known

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Comments on revelation

What made you want to look up revelation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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