Definition of apocalypse in US English:

apocalypse

noun

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

    • ‘In a column a few days ago I mentioned the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of whom is Pestilence.’
    • ‘Unless you count the first two signs of The Apocalypse that suddenly appeared during the course of the day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Catholic view of the Apocalypse was that it would begin with an event known as the rapture.’
    • ‘There is no hero worship of the leader, no particularly unusual rituals, no millennial apocalypses or anything else that would set off alarm bells.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All that lay ahead was the seventh age, the period of the Apocalypse and the end of history.’
    • ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are standing off in the distance, giggling at us.’
    • ‘The Apocalypse has come from under cover and is therefore apparent in the Book of Revelations.’
    • ‘In the scenes from the Apocalypse or from Serbian myths and legends, drama and exaltation prevail.’
    • ‘The Apocalypse was drawing near and all he could do to stop it was kill.’
    • ‘Although for Newton the Apocalypse would be accompanied by plagues and war, it would be the storm before the calm.’
    • ‘For someone who's supposed to bring about the Apocalypse, Promethea has a wicked sense of humour.’
    • ‘In all three, the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride rampant.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rolin rushed through the next seven hours as though the Apocalypse was coming.’
    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’
    • ‘It is important to realise that the earthquake was not a total apocalypse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Guardian has noted the floods and the fuel crisis, and is asking Can You Survive the British Apocalypse?’
    • ‘How could the legal owners of this stuff perceive file sharing as anything other than an apocalypse for their business?’
    • ‘It is perhaps apocalyptic only in its contiguity with the chaos of actual war and the apocalypse of the First World War.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But no matter what further compromise is reached, some will still regard it as the apocalypse.’
    • ‘Later, it describes the survivors of a nuclear apocalypse and the last flight of death over the scorched land.’
    • ‘That was the food supply on which we were going to subsist after the apocalypse.’
    • ‘The day we have a low tide during which sea doesn't ‘recede’ is the day of a serious apocalypse.’
    • ‘In his greed for world domination he has initiated the very apocalypse he sought to avoid.’
    • ‘It was the nearest thing to an apocalypse Europe has ever seen, Simon says.’
    • ‘While monsters, anti-Christs, and the Virgin herself appeared in the countryside, apocalypses were prophesied in capitals.’
    • ‘They say an apocalypse is coming and, after so much destruction, many suspect it has already started.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the years, peace activism has grown stronger and more vocal, thus reducing chances of any man-made apocalypses.’
    • ‘People's worlds end all the time; lots of people have personal apocalypses on a daily basis.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is very difficult to sum up in a few phrases the kind of apocalypses that this country is facing.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

apocalypse

/əˈpɑkəˌlɪps//əˈpäkəˌlips/