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From Ancient Greek ἀποκαλυπτικός (apokaluptikós, revelatory), from ἀποκαλύπτειν (apokalúptein, to reveal, uncover), from ἀπό (apó, off) + καλύπτειν (kalúptein, to cover).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈpɒ.kə.lɪp.tɪk/
  • (file)


apocalyptic (not comparable)

  1. Of or relating to an apocalypse:
    1. Of or relating to an apocalypse (a revelation), revelatory; prophetic.
      • 1876, John Ruskin, “Letter LXIV”, in Fors Clavigera. Letters to the Workmen and Labourers of Great Britain, volume VI, Orpington, Kent: George Allen, OCLC 3852549, page 116:
        Let him go and make, and burn, a pile or two [of bricks] with his own hands; he will thereby receive apocalyptic visions of a nature novel to his soul.
      • 1985, Donald A. Hagner, Apocalyptic Motifs in the Gospel of Matthew: Continuity and Discontinuity, page 92:
        From beginning to end, and throughout, the Gospel makes such frequent use of apocalyptic motifs and the apocalyptic viewpoint that it deserves to be called the apocalyptic Gospel."
      • 2002, Peter W. Smith, In the Day of the Lord: The Exciting and Promised Fulfillment, page 7:
        This was because apocalyptic stories — from the Greek word apohalupsis which means "reveal" — uses the vocabulary of symbols and numbers and contains concealed messages that secular listeners cannot comprehend.
    2. Of or relating to an apocalypse (a disaster).
      • 1919, Arthur Hamilton Gibbs, Gun Fodder: The Diary of Four Years of War[1], Little, Brown, page 276:
        For the first time since the show began, a sense of utter loneliness overwhelmed me, a bitter despair at the uselessness of individual effort in this gigantic tragedy of apocalyptic destruction.
      • 2001, Richard A. Horsley, Hearing the Whole Story: The Politics of Plot in Mark's Gospel, page 122:
        In fact, interpreters commonly declare that Mark is an "apocalyptic" Gospel. When they read Jesus' long speech toward the end of the Gospel (chap. 13), they even detect a veritable "apocalypse": "Wars and rumors of wars, [] "
      • 2010, Philip Leroy Culbertson, Elaine Mary Wainwright, Bible in Popular Culture, page 184:
        These bookends house a wealth of apocalyptic stories. The Bible, like some street preacher with a sign, shouts, "The end is near!"
      • 2021 May 5, Drachinifel, Battle of Samar - What if TF34 was there?[2], archived from the original on 19 August 2022, retrieved 31 August 2022, 42:53 from the start:
        [] and the pillar of smoke which had recently begun to dissipate, as many of the fires amidships had been smothered by the onrushing water, was replaced by a vast mushroom cloud of steam, smoke, flame, and debris as the magazines detonated. In the pall of this apocalyptic destruction, the U.S. fleet takes stock.
  2. Portending a future apocalypse (disaster, devastation, or doom).
  3. (nonstandard) Eggcorn of apoplectic.
    He was apocalyptically furious.


Derived terms[edit]



apocalyptic (plural apocalyptics)

  1. One who predicts apocalypse.