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[uh-pok-uh-lip-tik] /əˌpɒk əˈlɪp tɪk/
of or like an apocalypse; affording a revelation or prophecy.
pertaining to the Apocalypse or biblical book of Revelation.
predicting or presaging imminent disaster and total or universal destruction:
the apocalyptic vision of some contemporary writers.
Also, apocalyptical.
Origin of apocalyptic
1620-30; < Late Greek apokalýptikos, equivalent to apokalýpt(ein) to uncover, disclose (see apocalypse) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
apocalyptically, adverb
postapocalyptic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for apocalyptic
  • Keeping things vague, or subject to multiple interpretations, is the real key to apocalyptic predictions.
  • Others recommend adopting some policies now as an insurance policy against apocalyptic tail outcomes.
  • But the in-air bird deaths aren't due to some apocalyptic plague or insidious experiment-they happen all the time, scientists say.
  • We are highly hedonistic and apocalyptic with our self centered needs.
  • Those with apocalyptic leanings can even release a genetically engineered virus to crash the world population.
  • Unfortunately, he falls into the lazy trap of extrapolation, which leads him to unduly apocalyptic conclusions.
  • But the close call has galvanized efforts among scientists to predict and hopefully prevent a potentially apocalyptic impact.
  • Against a roundly apocalyptic world view, the great pleasures of this book are line-by-line.
  • Spectacular photography of the mountain prior to the explosion is harshly contrasted with the apocalyptic post-eruption scenery.
  • Some may bridle at the apocalyptic scenarios he raises but these often serve a legitimate purpose.
British Dictionary definitions for apocalyptic


outstanding in revelation, prophecy, or significance
of or like an apocalypse
Derived Forms
apocalyptically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apocalyptic

1660s, "pertaining to the 'Revelation of St. John' in the New Testament," from Greek apokalyptikos, from apokalyptein (see apocalypse). Meaning "pertaining to the imminent end of the world" evolved by 1880s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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