göt·ter·däm·mer·ung or Göt·ter·däm·mer·ung (gŏt′ər-dămə-rŭng′, gœt′ər-dĕmə-rng′)
A turbulent ending of a regime or an institution: "The nation had been flirting with forms of götterdämmerung, with extremes of vocabulary and behavior and an appetite for violent resolution" (Lance Morrow).
[After Götterdämmerung, an opera by Richard Wagner, from German, twilight of the gods : Götter, genitive pl. of Gott, god (from Middle High German got, from Old High German; see gheu(ə)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + Dämmerung, twilight (from Middle High German demerunge, from Old High German demerunga, from demar, twilight).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus