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calamity

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noun ca·lam·i·ty \kə-ˈla-mə-tē\

Simple Definition of calamity

  • : an event that causes great harm and suffering

Full Definition of calamity

plural ca·lam·i·ties

  1. 1 :  a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss

  2. 2 :  a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering <calamities of nature> <an economic calamity>

Examples of calamity

  1. 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

  2. A resentment born of the suspicion that all along the media were up to their usual tricks, hyping a national calamity to the max in order to make us buy more copies and tune into TV specials … —Christopher Buckley, Time, 29 Nov. 1999

  3. In the wake of this year's unending calamities, there has been renewed discussion of the need for an international rapid deployment force that can kick down doors to help victims of disasters. —Kathleen Hunt, New York Times Magazine, 28 July 1991

  4. floods, earthquakes, and other calamities

  5. He predicted calamity for the economy.



Origin of calamity

Middle English calamytey, from Latin calamitat-, calamitas; perhaps akin to Latin clades destruction


First Known Use: 15th century



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