1. A ghostly figure; a specter.
2. A sudden or unusual sight: "[The designer's] indoor-outdoor reversals and juxtapositions call forth a Magritte apparition beneath a Miami moon" (Herbert Muschamp).
3. The act of appearing; appearance.
[Middle English apparicioun, from Old French apparition, from Late Latin appāritiō, appāritiōn-, an appearance, from Latin appāritus, past participle of appārēre, to appear; see APPEAR.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.