noun ca·lam·i·ty \kə-ˈla-mə-tē\

: an event that causes great harm and suffering

plural ca·lam·i·ties

Full Definition of CALAMITY

:  a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss
:  a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering <calamities of nature> <an economic calamity>

Examples of CALAMITY

  1. floods, earthquakes, and other calamities
  2. He predicted calamity for the economy.
  3. Twenty two years passed. Twenty-two years of excellent health and the boundless self-assurance that flows from being fit—twenty-two years spared the adversary that is illness and the calamity that waits in the wings. —Phillip Roth, Everyman, 2006

Origin of CALAMITY

Middle English calamytey, from Latin calamitat-, calamitas; perhaps akin to Latin clades destruction
First Known Use: 15th century
CALAMITIES Defined for Kids


noun ca·lam·i·ty \kə-ˈla-mə-tē\
plural ca·lam·i·ties

Definition of CALAMITY for Kids

:  great distress or misfortune <… he felt oppressed by the vague sense of impending calamity. — Jack London, The Call of the Wild>
:  an event that causes great harm and suffering :  disaster
ca·lam·i·tous \-təs\ adjective


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