AskDefine | Define episode

Dictionary Definition



1 a happening that is distinctive in a series of related events
2 a brief section of a literary or dramatic work that forms part of a connected series
3 a part of a broadcast serial [syn: installment, instalment]
4 film consisting of a succession of related shots that develop a given subject in a movie [syn: sequence]

User Contributed Dictionary



Greek έπεισόδιον, from έπι, “on”, + είς, “into”, + όδός, “way”.


  1. Something that took place.
    It was a most embarrassing episode in my life
  2. A program in a television series.
    I can't wait till next week’s episode.


something that took place
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (shìjiàn)
  • Finnish: tapaus, episodi
  • German: Episode
  • Hungarian: esemény, epizód
  • Swedish: episod
program in a television series
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: ()
  • Czech: epizoda
  • Finnish: jakso
  • German: Episode, Folge
  • Hungarian: rész, epizód
  • Swedish: episod

Extensive Definition

For the Stratovarius album, see Episode.
An episode is a part of a dramatic work such as a serial television or radio program. An episode is a part of a sequence of a body of work, akin to a chapter of a book. The term sometimes applies to works based on other forms of mass media as well, as in Star Wars. Episodes of news programs are also known as editions.
Episodes which end in the middle of a climatic moment are often called cliffhangers, after the name used for early movie serials. Such episodes can be nearly daily occurrences in soap operas and are frequently used in season finales of many prime time shows.
Episodes can be part of a larger story arc stretched out over a time period covering one or more seasons, or even an entire series run. This is true for some science fiction series such as Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1 and Star Trek.
Shows usually have numbers or codes (aka, Production codes/numbers) for each episode. The X-Files, for example, assigned a code in the format "sXnn", with 's' identifying the season number and 'nn' being a two-digit number for each show, starting with '01'. Some programs, such as The Simpsons, use numbering systems that are hard for anyone outside the production company to understand.
Many talk shows do not give episodes titles. However, some talk shows have given episodes titles, such as The Jerry Springer Show and The Steve Wilkos Show.
Some series often give episodes their own titles which usually refer to the content of the episode, giving both producers and fans a simple identification,these will usually have a pattern such as being a pun on a known item (such as a phrase or title of a of some other media) or follow some naming convention of the series:
In addition, the word episode can also refer to a portion, or stasimon, of a tragic play; this usually being associated with those of the ancient Greeks.

See also

episode in Danish: Episode
episode in Spanish: Episodio
episode in Finnish: Episodi
episode in French: Épisode
episode in Hebrew: אפיזודה
episode in Japanese: エピソード
episode in Dutch: Episode
episode in Portuguese: Episódio

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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