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epiphany

[ih-pif-uh-nee] /ɪˈpɪf ə ni/
noun, plural epiphanies.
1.
(initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2.
an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
3.
a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
4.
a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English epiphanie < Late Latin epiphanīa < Late Greek epipháneia, Greek: apparition, equivalent to epi- epi- + phan- (stem of phaínein to appear) + -eia -y3
Related forms
epiphanic
[ep-uh-fan-ik] /ˌɛp əˈfæn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
epiphanous, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for epiphanous

epiphany

/ɪˈpɪfənɪ/
noun (pl) -nies
1.
the manifestation of a supernatural or divine reality
2.
any moment of great or sudden revelation
Derived Forms
epiphanic (ˌɛpɪˈfænɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Church Latin from Greek epiphaneia an appearing, from epi- + phainein to show

Epiphany

/ɪˈpɪfənɪ/
noun (pl) -nies
1.
a Christian festival held on Jan 6, commemorating, in the Western Church, the manifestation of Christ to the Magi and, in the Eastern Church, the baptism of Christ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for epiphanous

epiphany

n.

early 14c., "festival of the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles" (celebrated Jan. 6; usually with a capital -E-), from Old French epiphanie, from Late Latin epiphania, neuter plural (taken as feminine singular), from late Greek epiphaneia "manifestation, striking appearance" (in New Testament, "advent or manifestation of Christ"), from epiphanes "manifest, conspicuous," from epiphainein "to manifest, display," from epi "on, to" (see epi-) + phainein "to show" (see phantasm).

Of divine beings other than Christ, first recorded 1660s; general literary sense of "any manifestation or revelation" appeared 1840, first in De Quincey.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epiphanous in Culture
Epiphany [(i-pif-uh-nee)]

A festival in Christianity celebrating the visit of the Wise Men to the infant Jesus. Epiphany means “a showing forth” — in this case a showing forth of Jesus to the Gentiles.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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