Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Bible The Book of Revelation.
  • n. Any of a number of anonymous Jewish or Christian texts from around the second century B.C. to the second century A.D. containing prophetic or symbolic visions, especially of the imminent destruction of the world and the salvation of the righteous.
  • n. Great or total devastation; doom: the apocalypse of nuclear war.
  • n. A prophetic disclosure; a revelation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a numerous class of writings proceeding from Jewish authors between 250 b. c. and 150 a. d., and designed to propagate the Jewish faith or to cheer the hearts of the Jewish people with the promise of deliverance and glory; or proceeding from Christian authors of the opening centuries and designed to portray the future.
  • n. Specifically, the revelation delivered to St. John, in the isle of Patmos, near the close of the first century, forming the last book of the New Testament (called Revelation or the Apocalypse).
  • n. Anything viewed as a revelation, especially one that is highly significant for the person receiving it; a disclosure. Often used of a realization or revelation that changes a person's goals or style of life.
  • n. the final battle between good and evil, as foreseen in Saint John's Apocalypse; the time when God conquers the powers of evil, attended by cataclysmic cosmic events, and sometimes thought of as the end of the world; an Armageddon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Revelation; discovery; disclosure; specifically (with a capital letter), a title of the last book of the New Testament, usually called the book of Revelation, and in the English version the Revelation of St. John the Divine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil
  • n. the last book of the New Testament; contains visionary descriptions of heaven and of conflicts between good and evil and of the end of the world; attributed to Saint John the Apostle

Etymologies

Middle English Apocalipse, from Late Latin Apocalypsis, from Greek apokalupsis, revelation, Apocalypse, from apokaluptein, to uncover : apo-, apo- + kaluptein, to cover.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin apocalypsis, from Ancient Greek ἀποκάλυψις (apokalupsis, "revelation"), from ἀπό (apo, "away") and καλύπτω (kaluptō, "I cover"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The Four Palindromes of the Apocalypse

    An era, midst its dim arena
    Elapses pale.
    No, in uneven union
    Liars, alas, rail.

    – Leigh Mercer (via futilitycloset.com)

    October 17, 2010

  • the stated definition, while it explains the most common modern use of the word, is not the original definition. in the original greek it just means something like disclosure or uncovering. that's why the last chapter of the bible is called "revelations" -- it's a direct translation of the greek word.

    August 18, 2009