Definition of epiphany in English:



  • 1The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).

    • ‘The story of Epiphany is related by the first three Evangelists: Matthew, Mark and Luke.’
    • ‘The account of the magi is celebrated as an epiphany of our Lord.’
    1. 1.1 The festival commemorating the Epiphany on 6 January.
      • ‘Christians will be praying around the world during both Advent and Epiphany.’
      • ‘An indispensable part of any sermon on this Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany is the preacher's passing on the experiences of Christ's death and resurrection that this assembly has received.’
      • ‘In Izalco, the period between Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated with nightly processions and Jeu Jeu, an Amerindian rain dance.’
      • ‘The Church defines Christmas as the twelve days from Christmas Day until the eve of Epiphany.’
      • ‘Tomorrow's feast of the Epiphany, or Little Christmas, is still a huge, well-celebrated event from Berlin to Barcelona.’
      • ‘The pope, who personally administers each of the church's seven sacraments during the course of each year, makes a practice of consecrating bishops on Epiphany.’
      • ‘On January the 6th they have another special celebration called the Epiphany.’
      • ‘Catholics honor Three Kings Day on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.’
      • ‘Tomorrow is a Holy Day, The Feast of the Epiphany when there will be Masses at 11 am and 7.30 pm.’
      • ‘The Christmas season in France comes to an end on Epiphany when we commemorate the coming of the three kings to Bethlehem.’
      • ‘The Greater Blessing of Water is performed on the Feast of the Epiphany (in the Julian calendar, January 19).’
      • ‘For Epiphany on January 6, a large round pastry is baked with a bean hidden in it.’
      • ‘We Christians need Epiphany to complete our Christmas lesson.’
      • ‘The journey from Epiphany to Lent brings us from the brightness of our dawning to the bleakness of our sinfulness.’
      • ‘The twelfth day of Christmas, 6 January, Epiphany day, is the day that Christians believe that the three wise men presented their gifts to the new born Christ.’
      • ‘On Epiphany morning, the Lutheran-Episcopal full communion will be rendered official and celebrated at Washington's National Cathedral.’
      • ‘The nativity scene remains in its place until January 6, the Epiphany (the twelfth night after Christmas).’
      • ‘It's an important date in the Catholic calendar, the Feast of the Epiphany, the day for celebrating the meeting between Christ and the Magi.’
      • ‘The Church celebrates 6 January as Epiphany, the day on which the Christ child was shown to the three Kings.’
      • ‘In the past, the Roman Catholic Church required numerous fasts, including all Sundays during Lent, Easter week, and all Fridays except from Christmas to Epiphany and from Easter to Ascension.’
    2. 1.2 A manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
  • 2A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

    • ‘Growing up on a farm, Greco never saw live dance until he was in his teens, although he recalls a moment of epiphany at the age of six when he knew he wanted to dance.’
    • ‘There are small epiphanies to be had, sudden revelations of the true nature of our place on the wheel of things.’
    • ‘And then you experience some form of traumatic epiphany, and change all those opinions.’
    • ‘In a sudden epiphany, he had remembered that he still had Krillir's guns, silver weapons with eagles engraved on the handles.’
    • ‘Then Walker stopped for a second, and in that instant, it was as if he experienced a moment of epiphany.’
    • ‘I had a sudden epiphany, and slipped my hands nonchalantly into my pockets.’
    • ‘Tom was staring at Simon and had a moment of epiphany.’
    • ‘Then, as if we all have an epiphany at the same moment, we simultaneously yell out.’
    • ‘But I have to believe my epiphany was the decisive moment in my adult life.’
    • ‘Then one day I had an epiphany and realized that you can go around in a bad mood all of the time, but it won't do any good.’
    • ‘A little epiphany happened to me while riding home in the rain tonight.’
    • ‘It was a moment of epiphany in the magic midsummer twilight.’
    • ‘He speaks with the zeal of someone who has undergone a political epiphany.’
    • ‘Almost everyone in recovery has an story of an epiphany, the moment they knew they needed to stop using.’
    • ‘My grandmother's death was like an epiphany for me.’
    • ‘There is a crisis and a tragedy, enlightenment and epiphany.’
    • ‘As the park keeper loomed towards me to say, with a note of pity, that he was going to have to lock up in a minute, I had a moment of epiphany: things did not have to be like this.’
    • ‘Interspersed between such piercing points of pain and disappointment are moments of epiphany.’
    • ‘‘Students are experiencing lots of epiphanies during this process,’ he continued.’
    • ‘I think I expected all of us to be hit by a bombardment of epiphanies that would forever change our perspective on things.’


Middle English: from Greek epiphainein ‘reveal’. The sense relating to the Christian festival is via Old French epiphanie and ecclesiastical Latin epiphania.