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[uh-pok-uh-lip-tik] /əˌpɒk əˈlɪp tɪk/
of or like an apocalypse; affording a revelation or prophecy.
pertaining to the Apocalypse or biblical book of Revelation.
predicting or presaging imminent disaster and total or universal destruction:
the apocalyptic vision of some contemporary writers.
Also, apocalyptical.
Origin of apocalyptic
1620-30; < Late Greek apokalýptikos, equivalent to apokalýpt(ein) to uncover, disclose (see apocalypse) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
apocalyptically, adverb
postapocalyptic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apocalyptical
Historical Examples
  • When seen in the guise of the four apocalyptical animals, they belong to a later period.

  • Hildegarde replied in an obscure, apocalyptical language: "In the mysteries of the true wisdom have I seen and heard this."

  • Doubtless these are only a few of the great number of apocalyptical books which those ages produced.

    Who Wrote the Bible? Washington Gladden
  • And the case is precisely similar when an inspired writer uses a peculiar form of literature like the apocalyptical writings.

    Who Wrote the Bible? Washington Gladden
  • All this wild guessing arises from ignorance of the essential character and purpose of the apocalyptical writings.

    Who Wrote the Bible? Washington Gladden
British Dictionary definitions for apocalyptical


outstanding in revelation, prophecy, or significance
of or like an apocalypse
Derived Forms
apocalyptically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apocalyptical



1660s, "pertaining to the 'Revelation of St. John' in the New Testament," from Greek apokalyptikos, from apokalyptein (see apocalypse). Meaning "pertaining to the imminent end of the world" evolved by 1880s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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