(initial capital letter) revelation(def 4).
any of a class of Jewish or Christian writings that appeared from about 200 b.c. to a.d. 350 and were assumed to make revelations of the ultimate divine purpose.
a prophetic revelation, especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil.
any revelation or prophecy.
any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: the apocalypse of nuclear war.

Nearby words

  1. apo,
  2. apo koinu,
  3. apo-,
  4. apoapsis,
  5. apoc.,
  6. apocalyptic,
  7. apocalypticism,
  8. apocalyptist,
  9. apocarp,
  10. apocarpous

Origin of apocalypse

1125–75; Middle English < Late Latin apocalypsis < Greek apokálypsis revelation, equivalent to apokalýp(tein) to uncover, reveal (apo- apo- + kalýptein to cover, conceal) + -sis -sis

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apocalypse

British Dictionary definitions for apocalypse



a prophetic disclosure or revelation
an event of great importance, violence, etc, like the events described in the Apocalypse

Word Origin for apocalypse

C13: from Late Latin apocalypsis, from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein to disclose, from apo- + kaluptein to hide



Bible (in the Vulgate and Douay versions of the Bible) the Book of Revelation
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

Word Origin and History for apocalypse



late 14c., "revelation, disclosure," from Church Latin apocalypsis "revelation," from Greek apokalyptein "uncover, disclose, reveal," from apo- "from" (see apo-) + kalyptein "to cover, conceal" (see Calypso). The Christian end-of-the-world story is part of the revelation in John of Patmos' book "Apokalypsis" (a title rendered into English as "Apocalypse" c.1230 and "Revelations" by Wyclif c.1380).

Its general sense in Middle English was "insight, vision; hallucination;" meaning "a cataclysmic event" is modern. As agent nouns, apocalypst (1829), apocalypt (1834), and apocalyptist (1835) have been tried.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for apocalypse



Another name for the New Testament Book of Revelation; from the Greek word for “revelation.”


An “apocalypse” is a final catastrophe.


The Apocalypse is supposed to come at the end of the world or of time.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.