(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.
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. 2023
How to use apocalypse in a sentence
“Six and a half years in, and I got out to a zombie apocalypse,” she says.
The insect apocalypse has captured headlines, but the situation is more nuanced than that.We Crush, Poison, and Destroy Insects at Our Own Peril - Issue 95: Escape | John Hainze | January 20, 2021 | Nautilus
Back in 2018, we first saw the Atlas robot performing “parkour” and the YouTube comment section was packed full of references to an impending apocalypse.The Boston Dynamics robots are surprisingly good dancers | Stan Horaczek | December 31, 2020 | Popular-Science
Then a mysterious global apocalypse occurs, prompting all his fellow scientists to evacuate.Poignant The Midnight Sky wrestles with whether humankind is worth saving | Jennifer Ouellette | December 24, 2020 | Ars Technica
Fears of a robot-driven jobs apocalypse are a recurring theme in the media.MIT Report: Robots Aren’t the Biggest Threat to the Future of Work—Policy Is | Edd Gent | November 23, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Such is the strange and permanent apocalypse of 21st-century L.A.
Conning people into buying a book to prepare for an "Ebola apocalypse" is not just irresponsible, it's pathetic.
In retrospect, 2009 and 2010 were halcyon days in the Middle East, now that we seem just one horseman short of an apocalypse.
If you were in the zombie apocalypse, would you be a hunter, the hunted, or Tyreese?Andrew Lincoln Wants Rick to End With Johnny Cash and the Sunset | Melissa Leon | October 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
All in all, a good week for learning that people you love aren't really dead and also holding off the apocalypse.Naked Ben Franklin Christens the Campy Return of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ | Amy Zimmerman | September 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The sun, pale in the midst of a strange sickly transparence, lighted up this outline of the apocalypse.Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo
It also possessed one of the earliest of the block-books, the apocalypse.English Book Collectors | William Younger Fletcher
But a clear and direct allusion to this last grouping of the constellations occurs in the apocalypse.The Astronomy of the Bible | E. Walter Maunder
And behold I saw, said the seer of the apocalypse, as if it were a sea of glass mingled with fire.
This Ten-Weeks apocalypse, therefore, we take to be the work of the writer of the rest of xci.-civ.
British Dictionary definitions for apocalypse (1 of 2)
a prophetic disclosure or revelation
an event of great importance, violence, etc, like the events described in the Apocalypse
British Dictionary definitions for Apocalypse (2 of 2)
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
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.