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. 1.1The festival commemorating the Epiphany on 6 January.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Christmas season in France comes to an end on Epiphany when we commemorate the coming of the three kings to Bethlehem.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We Christians need Epiphany to complete our Christmas lesson.’
      • ‘The Church defines Christmas as the twelve days from Christmas Day until the eve of Epiphany.’
      • ‘For Epiphany on January 6, a large round pastry is baked with a bean hidden in it.’
      • ‘Christians will be praying around the world during both Advent and Epiphany.’
      • ‘The Church celebrates 6 January as Epiphany, the day on which the Christ child was shown to the three Kings.’
      • ‘The Greater Blessing of Water is performed on the Feast of the Epiphany (in the Julian calendar, January 19).’
      • ‘Tomorrow is a Holy Day, The Feast of the Epiphany when there will be Masses at 11 am and 7.30 pm.’
      • ‘The nativity scene remains in its place until January 6, the Epiphany (the twelfth night after Christmas).’
      • ‘On Epiphany morning, the Lutheran-Episcopal full communion will be rendered official and celebrated at Washington's National Cathedral.’
      • ‘The journey from Epiphany to Lent brings us from the brightness of our dawning to the bleakness of our sinfulness.’
      • ‘Catholics honor Three Kings Day on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On January the 6th they have another special celebration called the Epiphany.’
      • ‘Tomorrow's feast of the Epiphany, or Little Christmas, is still a huge, well-celebrated event from Berlin to Barcelona.’
      • ‘In Izalco, the period between Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated with nightly processions and Jeu Jeu, an Amerindian rain dance.’
    2. 1.2A manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
  • 2A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

    • ‘Tom was staring at Simon and had a moment of epiphany.’
    • ‘He speaks with the zeal of someone who has undergone a political 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.’
    • ‘A little epiphany happened to me while riding home in the rain tonight.’
    • ‘Almost everyone in recovery has an story of an epiphany, the moment they knew they needed to stop using.’
    • ‘In a sudden epiphany, he had remembered that he still had Krillir's guns, silver weapons with eagles engraved on the handles.’
    • ‘There is a crisis and a tragedy, enlightenment and epiphany.’
    • ‘It was a moment of epiphany in the magic midsummer twilight.’
    • ‘Interspersed between such piercing points of pain and disappointment are moments of epiphany.’
    • ‘My grandmother's death was like an epiphany for me.’
    • ‘Then, as if we all have an epiphany at the same moment, we simultaneously yell out.’
    • ‘I had a sudden epiphany, and slipped my hands nonchalantly into my pockets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think I expected all of us to be hit by a bombardment of epiphanies that would forever change our perspective on things.’
    • ‘There are small epiphanies to be had, sudden revelations of the true nature of our place on the wheel of things.’
    • ‘‘Students are experiencing lots of epiphanies during this process,’ he continued.’
    • ‘And then you experience some form of traumatic epiphany, and change all those opinions.’
    • ‘But I have to believe my epiphany was the decisive moment in my adult life.’
    • ‘Then Walker stopped for a second, and in that instant, it was as if he experienced a moment of epiphany.’


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