Discovering that you had a long-lost sister would definitely be a revelation, or a surprising realization. Finding out she had been living in the house next door for years would be an even more startling revelation!

It is not a surprise that the word revelation is related to the word reveal, because revealing is the action of showing something that was previously covered up or unknown. You can even use both words in the same sentence: "You might find it a revelation if someone revealed to you that your house was sitting on top of a gold mine!"

Definitions of revelation

n the act of making something evident

disclosure, revealing
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singing, tattle, telling
disclosing information or giving evidence about another
behavior that makes your feelings public
divulgement, divulgence
the act of disclosing something that was secret or private
something that is discovered
(law) compulsory pretrial disclosure of documents relevant to a case; enables one side in a litigation to elicit information from the other side concerning the facts in the case
an unintentional disclosure
informing, ratting
to furnish incriminating evidence to an officer of the law (usually in return for favors)
leak, news leak
unauthorized (especially deliberate) disclosure of confidential information
the disclosure of something secret
a deliberate display of emotion for effect
a display that is exaggerated or unduly complicated
sackcloth and ashes
a display of extreme remorse or repentance or grief
expose, unmasking
the exposure of an impostor or a fraud
the exposure of scandal (especially about public figures)
Type of:
speech act
the use of language to perform some act

n an enlightening or astonishing disclosure

Type of:
brainstorm, brainwave, insight
the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation

n communication of knowledge to man by a divine or supernatural agency

divine revelation
Type of:
informing, making known
a speech act that conveys information

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