Definition of apocalypse in English:



  • 1The complete final destruction of the world, especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation.

    • ‘The Apocalypse has come from under cover and is therefore apparent in the Book of Revelations.’
    • ‘For someone who's supposed to bring about the Apocalypse, Promethea has a wicked sense of humour.’
    • ‘All that lay ahead was the seventh age, the period of the Apocalypse and the end of history.’
    • ‘Although for Newton the Apocalypse would be accompanied by plagues and war, it would be the storm before the calm.’
    • ‘Unless you count the first two signs of The Apocalypse that suddenly appeared during the course of the day.’
    • ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are standing off in the distance, giggling at us.’
    • ‘The batty old lady had made the mistake of incurring the wrath of the Riders of the Apocalypse, and she paid for that within the second.’
    • ‘In a column a few days ago I mentioned the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of whom is Pestilence.’
    • ‘In all three, the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride rampant.’
    • ‘Rolin rushed through the next seven hours as though the Apocalypse was coming.’
    • ‘In the scenes from the Apocalypse or from Serbian myths and legends, drama and exaltation prevail.’
    • ‘There is no hero worship of the leader, no particularly unusual rituals, no millennial apocalypses or anything else that would set off alarm bells.’
    • ‘The Apocalypse was drawing near and all he could do to stop it was kill.’
    • ‘My sleep is disturbed by visions of the apocalypse, with a kind of ridiculousness that wakes me.’
    • ‘These ominous odes rumble like the storm clouds before the apocalypse and will have you laughing and crying at the same time.’
    • ‘Is that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse we can see in the distance?’
    • ‘The sad thing about people who confidently predict the apocalypse is that they look so foolish when it fails to materialise.’
    • ‘The Catholic view of the Apocalypse was that it would begin with an event known as the rapture.’
    1. 1.1(especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation.
  • 2An event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.

    ‘a stock market apocalypse’
    ‘an era of ecological apocalypse’
    • ‘People's worlds end all the time; lots of people have personal apocalypses on a daily basis.’
    • ‘Later, it describes the survivors of a nuclear apocalypse and the last flight of death over the scorched land.’
    • ‘We must maintain our visions, prophesy hope, and remain faithful and committed to the struggle, even and especially when facing so many daily apocalypses and forms of death.’
    • ‘It was the nearest thing to an apocalypse Europe has ever seen, Simon says.’
    • ‘That was the food supply on which we were going to subsist after the apocalypse.’
    • ‘While monsters, anti-Christs, and the Virgin herself appeared in the countryside, apocalypses were prophesied in capitals.’
    • ‘It is very difficult to sum up in a few phrases the kind of apocalypses that this country is facing.’
    • ‘These modernist writers wrote at what they took to be a moment of transition, between two apocalypses, one historical - and thus merely destructive - and one to be imagined.’
    • ‘The Guardian has noted the floods and the fuel crisis, and is asking Can You Survive the British Apocalypse?’
    • ‘They say an apocalypse is coming and, after so much destruction, many suspect it has already started.’
    • ‘How could the legal owners of this stuff perceive file sharing as anything other than an apocalypse for their business?’
    • ‘Science treasures its own apocalypses, but the writer claims that the modern environmental movement lacks a sense of redemption and is therefore destined to remain in the political margins.’
    • ‘But no matter what further compromise is reached, some will still regard it as the apocalypse.’
    • ‘It is important to realise that the earthquake was not a total apocalypse.’
    • ‘Over the years, peace activism has grown stronger and more vocal, thus reducing chances of any man-made apocalypses.’
    • ‘The day we have a low tide during which sea doesn't ‘recede’ is the day of a serious apocalypse.’
    • ‘More pertinently, the pair have a way of pinpointing, with unerring accuracy, the simple poignant moments in life: personal and global apocalypses are all part of the parcel.’
    • ‘As ever, Roth has the ability to suggest a vast historical catastrophe through the tiny apocalypses of ordinary life, which he renders with all of Baudelaire's poetic acuity.’
    • ‘In his greed for world domination he has initiated the very apocalypse he sought to avoid.’
    • ‘It is perhaps apocalyptic only in its contiguity with the chaos of actual war and the apocalypse of the First World War.’


Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein uncover, reveal from apo- un- + kaluptein to cover.