Definition of epiphany in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈpifənē/

noun (plural epiphanies)

(also Epiphany)
1The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12).
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1The festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6.
Example sentences
  • For Epiphany on January 6, a large round pastry is baked with a bean hidden in it.
  • The Christmas season in France comes to an end on Epiphany when we commemorate the coming of the three kings to Bethlehem.
  • In Izalco, the period between Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated with nightly processions and Jeu Jeu, an Amerindian rain dance.
1.2A manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
Example sentences
  • She experienced an epiphany, seeing/feeling her own body as divine, herself as Goddess.
  • He elevated acts of profanation or desecration to the status of epiphanies: singular mystical moments of Oneness with the All.
1.3A moment of sudden revelation or insight.
Example sentences
  • Then, as if we all have an epiphany at the same moment, we simultaneously yell out.
  • But I have to believe my epiphany was the decisive moment in my adult life.
  • In a sudden epiphany, he had remembered that he still had Krillir's guns, silver weapons with eagles engraved on the handles.



Pronunciation: /ˌepəˈfanik/
Example sentences
  • On the whole, it seems a good idea to be silent about the transcendent and epiphanic dimensions of life because they cannot actually be spoken about.
  • Quite simply put, a holy place, as a place in which an epiphanic event happens, is holy insofar as the breath or Spirit that gives witness to our spirit is there to consecrate it - and we call it ‘spiritual presence.’
  • Since the publication of her first novel, she has returned in her fiction to epiphanic moments which elide divisions in time and space.


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

  • Epiphany is the festival commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi or the three wise men who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. It is from Greek epiphainein ‘reveal’. An alternative Greek name for the festival is Theophania ‘divine revelation’, which lies behind the personal name Tiffany, originally given to girls born at the festival.

Words that rhyme with epiphany

antiphony, polyphony, tiffany

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·piph·a·ny

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