Definition of apocalyptic in English:

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Pronunciation: /əpɒkəˈlɪptɪk/


1Describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world: the apocalyptic visions of ecologists
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  • Yet despite my dismissive attitude towards apocalyptic theories and prophesies, last year's Y2K version did somewhat discomfort me.
  • Climate change is the environmental fear that provokes the greatest degree of apocalyptic prophesy.
  • His writing is apocalyptic in feel, describing a gritty futuristic world in which dream meets reality.
1.1Momentous or catastrophic: the struggle between the two countries is assuming apocalyptic proportions
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  • Do you not realise the serious catastrophic, apocalyptic implications if he is correct?
  • We have had a storm of apocalyptic proportions this morning, with gale force winds and torrential rain for hours.
  • Again, the only real cure to this neurosis, which is apparently taking on apocalyptic proportions, would be for him to feel good about himself.
1.2Of or resembling the biblical Apocalypse: apocalyptic imagery
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  • The closest the FBI gets to a motive for the smallpox attack is an apocalyptic Biblical passage left behind by the terrorist.
  • The other times I see him focusing on his artwork while attending the San Francisco Academy of Art and creating his war-torn, apocalyptic imagery that needs few words to explain.
  • There is nothing, in short, inherently Jewish or Christian or Muslim about apocalyptic imagery.



Pronunciation: /əˌpɒkəˈlɪptɪkli/
Example sentences
  • We gazed across the loch at Ben Lomond, which for once, in this apocalyptically bad summer, was gloriously free from cloud and touched lightly by skinny bands of sunlight.
  • It reduced scores of buildings to dust, ignited fires that raged apocalyptically for four days, and cut San Francisco off from all outside communication.
  • But the poet's vision darkens apocalyptically in The Lice, which seems written under the shadow of planetary extinction.


Early 17th century (as a noun denoting the writer of the Apocalypse, St John): from Greek apokaluptikos, from apokaluptein 'uncover' (see apocalypse).

Words that rhyme with apocalyptic

cryptic, diptych, elliptic, glyptic, styptic, triptych
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