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[rev-uh-ley-shuh n] /ˌrɛv əˈleɪ ʃən/
the act of revealing or disclosing; disclosure.
something revealed or disclosed, especially a striking disclosure, as of something not before realized.
  1. God's disclosure of Himself and His will to His creatures.
  2. an instance of such communication or disclosure.
  3. something thus communicated or disclosed.
  4. something that contains such disclosure, as the Bible.
(initial capital letter). Also called Revelations, The Revelation of St. John the Divine. the last book in the New Testament; the Apocalypse.
Abbreviation: Rev.
Origin of revelation
1275-1325; Middle English revelacion (< Old French) < Late Latin revēlātiōn- (stem of revēlātiō), equivalent to Latin revēlāt(us) (past participle of revēlāre to reveal) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
revelational, adjective
nonrevelation, noun
prerevelation, noun
unrevelational, adjective
1. divulgation, admission, divulgence, exposure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for revelation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The past had a certain revelation of truth; but the revelation of truth did not end with the past.

  • It was to her the revelation of a heart, and she saw with reverence.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • At this revelation a vivid blush glowed on Gracie Dennis' cheek.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • The man who had so loved her, so trusted her, was overwhelmed by the revelation.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • What magic in the utterance, what a revelation of Cleopatra's character and of Shakespeare's!

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
British Dictionary definitions for revelation


the act or process of disclosing something previously secret or obscure, esp something true
a fact disclosed or revealed, esp in a dramatic or surprising way
  1. God's disclosure of his own nature and his purpose for mankind, esp through the words of human intermediaries
  2. something in which such a divine disclosure is contained, such as the Bible
Derived Forms
revelational, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin revēlātiō from Latin revēlāre to reveal


(popularly, often pl) Also called the Apocalypse, the Revelation of Saint John the Divine. the last book of the New Testament, containing visionary descriptions of heaven, of conflicts between good and evil, and of the end of the world
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 revelation

c.1300, "disclosure of information to man by a divine or supernatural agency," from Old French revelacion and directly from Latin revelationem (nominative revelatio), noun of action from past participle stem of revelare "unveil, uncover, lay bare" (see reveal). General meaning "disclosure of facts" is attested from late 14c.; meaning "striking disclosure" is from 1862. As the name of the last book of the New Testament (Revelation of St. John), it is first attested late 14c. (see apocalypse); as simply Revelations, it is first recorded 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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