[ got-er-dam-uh-roo ng, -ruhng; German gœt-uhr-dem-uh-roo ng ]
/ ˌgɒt ərˈdæm əˌrʊŋ, -ˌrʌŋ; German ˌgœt ərˈdɛm əˌrʊŋ /


German Mythology. the destruction of the gods and of all things in a final battle with evil powers: erroneous modern translation of the Old Icelandic Ragnarǫk, meaning “fate of the gods,” misunderstood as Ragnarökkr, meaning “twilight of the gods.”
(italics) See The Ring of the Nibelung.

Origin of Götterdämmerung

1875–80; < German, equivalent to Götter, plural of Gott God + Dämmerung twilight
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gotterdammerung

  • Possibly the "Gotterdammerung," and even Siegfried's "Tod," would pass these people unmarked, like the wind.

    From the Easy Chair, vol. 1|George William Curtis
  • The three gentlemen rotated in the pool breast high, after the fashion of the nymphs in Gotterdammerung.

    A Room With A View|E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for gotterdammerung


/ (ˌɡɒtəˈdɛməˌrʊŋ, German ɡœtərˈdɛmərʊŋ) /


German myth the twilight of the gods; their ultimate destruction in a battle with the forces of evilNorse equivalent: Ragnarök
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 gotterdammerung


from German Götterdämmerung, literally "twilight of the gods," used by Wagner as the title of the last opera in the Ring cycle; used in English from 1909 in the figurative sense of "complete overthrow" of something.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper