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See more synonyms for apocalyptic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or like an apocalypse; affording a revelation or prophecy.
  2. pertaining to the Apocalypse or biblical book of Revelation.
  3. predicting or presaging imminent disaster and total or universal destruction: the apocalyptic vision of some contemporary writers.
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Also a·poc·a·lyp·ti·cal.

Origin of apocalyptic

1620–30; < Late Greek apokalýptikos, equivalent to apokalýpt(ein) to uncover, disclose (see apocalypse) + -ikos -ic
Related formsa·poc·a·lyp·ti·cal·ly, adverbpost·a·poc·a·lyp·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

apocalyptic, fateful, oracular, portentous, predictive, prescient, prophetic, revelational, revelatory

Examples from the Web for apocalyptical

Historical Examples

  • When seen in the guise of the four apocalyptical animals, they belong to a later period.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847


  • 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


  1. outstanding in revelation, prophecy, or significance
  2. of or like an apocalypse
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Derived Formsapocalyptically, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper