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epiphany

[ ih-pif-uh-nee ]
/ ɪˈpɪf ə ni /
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See synonyms for: epiphany / epiphanies on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural e·piph·a·nies.
(initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.
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Origin of epiphany

1275–1325; Middle English epiphanie<Late Latin epiphanīa<Late Greek epipháneia,Greek: apparition, equivalent to epi-epi- + phan- (stem of phaínein to appear) + -eia-y3

OTHER WORDS FROM epiphany

ep·i·phan·ic [ep-uh-fan-ik], /ˌɛp əˈfæn ɪk/, e·piph·a·nous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WHAT IS THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY?

What is the Feast of the Epiphany?

The Feast of the Epiphany (often simply called Epiphany) is a Christian holiday. In the Western Church, it celebrates the revelation of Jesus as the Christ (the prophesied Messiah or Savior) to the Magi (popularly known as the three wise men) and to all Gentiles (non-Jews).

In the Eastern Church, the Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus and the revelation of his divinity.

The Feast of the Epiphany is considered the twelfth and final day of the Christmas celebration.

For this reason, it is sometimes called Twelfth Day.

Many Christians observe the Epiphany as the end of the Christmas season and it is traditional to leave up Christmas decorations until this day.

In some places, the Feast of the Epiphany is considered to mark the start of Carnival season—the period of feasting and merriment before Lent.

When is the Feast of the Epiphany?

The Feast of the Epiphany is commonly observed on January 6. In some branches of the Eastern Church, it is celebrated on January 19. In either case, it is observed 12 days after Christmas.

More information and context on the Feast of the Epiphany

The word epiphany can be used in a general way to refer to “an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity,” and this is what the Feast of the Epiphany commemorates. It is among the oldest Christian holidays.

The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated in different ways around the world, including with special cakes. In some places, people exchange gifts on Epiphany rather than Christmas.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing the Feast of the Epiphany?

How is the Feast of the Epiphany discussed in real life?

The Feast of the Epiphany is observed by many Christians as the end of the Christmas season. It is traditional to take down Christmas decorations on the day.

 

Try using the Feast of the Epiphany!

True or False?

The Feast of the Epiphany is considered the twelfth day of the Christmas celebration.

How to use epiphany in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for epiphany (1 of 2)

epiphany
/ (ɪˈpɪfənɪ) /

noun plural -nies
the manifestation of a supernatural or divine reality
any moment of great or sudden revelation

Derived forms of epiphany

epiphanic (ˌɛpɪˈfænɪk), adjective

Word Origin for epiphany

C17: via Church Latin from Greek epiphaneia an appearing, from epi- + phainein to show

British Dictionary definitions for epiphany (2 of 2)

Epiphany
/ (ɪˈpɪfənɪ) /

noun plural -nies
a Christian festival held on Jan 6, commemorating, in the Western Church, the manifestation of Christ to the Magi and, in the Eastern Church, the baptism of Christ
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 epiphany

Epiphany
[ (i-pif-uh-nee) ]

A festival in Christianity celebrating the visit of the Wise Men to the infant Jesus. Epiphany means “a showing forth” — in this case a showing forth of Jesus to the Gentiles.

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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