I. noun 1. (often the Apocalypse) — the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation. • the bell’s ringing is supposed to usher in the Apocalypse.
2. ( the Apocalypse) — (especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation. 3. an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale • the apocalypse of World War II.
II. phrases the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse a. four allegorical mounted figures, commonly identified as Pestilence (or Conquest), War, Famine, and Death, whose arrival heralds the end of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation. b. used to refer to people or phenomena seen as agents of imminent catastrophe • in 2003, the airline industry survived the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
– origin Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein ‘uncover, reveal’, from apo- ‘un-’ + kaluptein ‘to cover’.