I am looking for a noun which describes some sort of apocalyptic or world-ending event, but does not have the religious baggage of words like apocalypse.

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    Catastrophe? Cataclysm? Apocalypse does not necessarily have religious connotations. – American Luke Sep 26 '12 at 23:17
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    @luke OK on the first two, but beg to differ on apocalypse. It comes from Greek for revelation and refers to a biblical text. See this source – bib Sep 26 '12 at 23:54
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    Fifth definition. I see where you're coming from, but it is not necessarily religious. – American Luke Sep 27 '12 at 0:33
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    @luke While the word may often be used without intending a religious connotation, OP is trying to avoid the religious baggage that some readers may bring to the term. – bib Sep 27 '12 at 0:54
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    If there is ever a time for people to "get religion" it will be when the world is about to end. – Jim Sep 27 '12 at 4:57

TEOTWAWKI - the end of the world as we know it


The singularity. The event horizon.


The traditional "sciencespeak" for this is "Extinction scale event".

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