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catastrophe

noun

  1. (misfortune)  an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
    Synonyms: calamity, cataclysm, disaster, tragedy. Type of: misfortune
  2. (adversity)  a state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune
    Synonyms: disaster. Type of: adversity
  3. (geological phenomenon)  a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
    Synonyms: cataclysm. Type of: geological phenomenon

Etymology summary

"reversal of what is expected" (especially a fatal turning point in a drama),...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

catastrophe | cataclysm [synonym, sense-specific]

a sudden, extensive, or notable disaster or misfortune | the denouement of a play, especially a classical tragedy | a final decisive event, usually ... (22 of 516 words, 4 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/catastrophe

Merriam-Webster:

catastrophe | fiasco [synonym, sense-specific] | apocalypse [synonym, sense-specific] | calamity [synonym, sense-specific] | cataclysm [synonym, sense-specific] | disaster [synonym, sense-specific] | debacle [synonym, sense-specific] | tragedy [synonym, sense-specific] | blockbuster [antonym, sense-specific] | ...

the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy | a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin | ... (24 of 180 words, 4 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/catastrophe

Wikipedia:

Catastrophe [disambiguation]

an extremely large-scale disaster, a horrible event. The term may also refer to: Catastrophe (book), a non-fiction book by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann | Catastrophe (drama), the climax and resolution of a plot in ancient Greek drama and poetry | ... (39 of 164 words, 9 definitions)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Catastrophe

Random House Dictionary:

catastrophe | catastrophe function [synonym, sense-specific]

a sudden and widespread disaster. | any misfortune, mishap, or failure; fiasco. | a final event or conclusion, usually an unfortunate one; a ... (21 of 115 words, 6 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/catastrophe

Oxford Dictionary:

catastrophe

an event causing great and usually sudden damage or suffering; a disaster | something very unfortunate or unsuccessful | the denouement of a drama, ... (22 of 107 words, 3 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/catastrophe

American Heritage Dictionary:

catastrophe

A great, often sudden calamity. | A complete failure; a fiasco | The concluding action of a drama, especially a classical tragedy, following the ... (22 of 79 words, 4 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/catastrophe

New World Dictionary:

catastrophe | catastrophic [adjective, related] | catastrophically [adverb, related]

the culminating event of a drama, especially of a tragedy, by which the plot is resolved; denouement | a disastrous end, bringing overthrow or ruin | ... (24 of 74 words, 5 definitions, pronunciations)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/catastrophe

Macmillan British Dictionary:

catastrophe [countable] | catastrophes [plural]

an event that causes a lot of damage or makes a lot of people suffer ; used about an event that causes serious difficulty for a particular person or ... (29 of 71 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/catastrophe

Cambridge Dictionary:

catastrophe | catastrophic [adjective, derived]

a sudden event that causes very great trouble or destruction | a bad situation (13 of 56 words, 2 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/catastrophe

Wiktionary:

catastrophe | catastrophes [plural] | catastrophë [rare, sense-specific]

Any large and disastrous event of great significance. | [insurance] A disaster beyond expectations | [narratology] The dramatic event that initiates the resolution of the plot in a tragedy. | [math] A type of bifurcation, where a system shifts between... (37 of 45 words, 4 definitions, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/catastrophe

Britannica Encyclopedia:

catastrophe [literature]

in literature, the final action that completes the unraveling of the plot in a play, especially in a tragedy. Catastrophe is a synonym of denouement. ... (25 of 40 words)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/99232​/catastrophe

Encarta Dictionary:

catastrophe | catastrophes [plural]

a terrible disaster or accident, especially one that leads to great loss of life | an absolute failure, often in humiliating or embarrassing ... (22 of 127 words, 5 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861595413​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

catastrophe

First use: 1530s

Origin: "reversal of what is expected" (especially a fatal turning point in a drama), from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophe "an ... (21 of 51 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=catastrophe

Oxford Dictionary:

catastrophe

First use: mid 16th century

Origin: (in the sense "denouement"): from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophē "overturning, sudden turn", from kata- "down" + ... (20 of 25 etymology words)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/catastrophe

American Heritage Dictionary:

catastrophe

Origin: Greek katastrophē, an overturning, ruin, conclusion, from katastrephein, to ruin, undo: kata-, ... (12 of 21 etymology words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/catastrophe

New World Dictionary:

catastrophe

Origin: Latin catastropha from Greek katastrophē, an overthrowing from katastrephein, to overturn from kata-, down + strephein, to turn: see "strophe"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/catastrophe

Wiktionary:

catastrophe | catastrophes [plural]

Origin: Ancient Greek καταστροφή (katastrophē), from καταστρέφω (katastrephō, "I overturn"), from κατά (kata, "down, against") + στρέφω (strephō, "I turn")

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/catastrophe

Collins Dictionary:

catastrophe

First use: 16th century

Origin: from Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from strephein to turn

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/catastrophe

Merriam-Webster:

catastrophe

First use: 1540

Origin: Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from kata- + strephein to turn

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/catastrophe

Encarta Dictionary:

catastrophe | catastrophes [plural]

First use: Mid-16th century

Origin: Latin catastropha from Greek katastrophē "overturning" from katastrephein "overturn" from strephein "turn"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861595413​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Wiktionary:

catastrophe | catastrophes [plural]

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/catastrophe

Collins Dictionary:

catastrophe

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

Audio 2: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/catastrophe

Macmillan British Dictionary:

catastrophe [countable] | catastrophes [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/catastrophe

Macmillan American Dictionary:

catastrophe [countable] | catastrophes [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "catastrophe"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/catastrophe

Cambridge Dictionary:

catastrophe

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "catastrophe"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "catastrophe"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/catastrophe

the Free Dictionary:

catastrophe

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/catastrophe

Google Dictionary:

catastrophe | catastrophes [plural]

Audio: English pronunciation of "catastrophe"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=catastrophe

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

catastrophe

Audio: North American pronunciation of "catastrophe"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=catast​01 word=catastrophe

YourDictionary Audio:

catastrophe

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/catastrophe

freedictionary.org:

catastrophe

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "catastrophe" by speech synthesizer

freedictionary​.org​/ Query=catastrophe

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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