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apocalypse

[ uh-pok-uh-lips ]
/ əˈpɒk ə lɪps /
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noun

(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.

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Origin of apocalypse

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English, from Late Latin apocalypsis, from Greek apokálypsis “revelation,” equivalent to apokalýp(tein) “to uncover, reveal” (apo- “away, off, apart” + kalýptein “to cover, conceal”) + -sis noun suffix; see apo-, -sis

historical usage of apocalypse

Apocalypse comes from Greek apokálypsis “uncovering,” a derivative of the verb apokalýptein “to take the cover off,” a compound whose first element is the preposition and prefix apó, apo- “off, away.” The preposition apó has the same Proto-Indo-European origin as Latin ab, Sanskrit ápa, Gothic af (English off and of ), all meaning “away, away from.”
The second part of apokalýptein is the simple verb kalýptein “to cover, hide.” Kalýptein may be a derivative of the Proto-Indo-European root kel-, kol-, kəl- (and other variants). If so, kalýptein comes from the variant kəl-; the variant kēl- also forms Latin cēlāre “to hide.” The variant root kol- becomes hal- in Germanic, and the derivative noun haljō, literally “hidden place,” is the source of Old Norse Hel, goddess of the underworld, and English hell (the bad place).
The earliest recorded meaning of apocalypse (in Old English) was in reference to the name of the last book in the New Testament, also called Revelation. It recounts several prophetic visions of upheaval and destruction culminating in the Second Coming of Christ. In Middle English, apocalypse was extended to mean “any revelation or disclosure.” However, the meaning “any disaster or cataclysm” was not recorded until the late 19th century.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for apocalypse

British Dictionary definitions for apocalypse (1 of 2)

apocalypse
/ (əˈpɒkəlɪps) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for apocalypse (2 of 2)

Apocalypse
/ (əˈpɒkəlɪps) /

noun

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

Cultural definitions for apocalypse

Apocalypse
[ (uh-pok-uh-lips) ]

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

notes for Apocalypse

An “apocalypse” is a final catastrophe.

notes for Apocalypse

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.
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