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cataclysm

play
noun cat·a·clysm \ˈka-tə-ˌkli-zəm\

Simple Definition of cataclysm

  • : something that causes great destruction, violence, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cataclysm

  1. 1 :  flood, deluge

  2. 2 :  catastrophe 3a

  3. 3 :  a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition; broadly :  an event that brings great changes

cataclysmal

play \ˌka-tə-ˈkliz-məl\ or

cataclysmic

play \-mik\ adjective

cataclysmically

play \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of cataclysm in a sentence

  1. floods, earthquakes, and other cataclysms

  2. The country barely survived the cataclysm of war.

  3. The revolution could result in worldwide cataclysm.



Did You Know?

The -clysm part of cataclysm comes from the Greek word meaning "to wash", so cataclysm's original meaning was "flood, deluge", and especially Noah's Flood itself. A cataclysm causes great and lasting changes. An earthquake or other natural disaster that changes the landscape is one kind of cataclysm, but a violent political revolution may also be a cataclysmic event. Many cataclysms could instead be called catastrophes.

Origin and Etymology of cataclysm

French cataclysme, from Latin cataclysmos, from Greek kataklysmos, from kataklyzein to inundate, from kata- + klyzein to wash — more at clyster


First Known Use: 1599



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