noun \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


Next Word in the Dictionary: calamity howler
Previous Word in the Dictionary: calamitous
All Words Near: calamity

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up calamity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).