: the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy
: a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin
a : a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth
b : a violent usually destructive natural event (as a supernova)
Examples of CATASTROPHE
- The oil spill was an environmental catastrophe.
- Experts fear a humanitarian catastrophe if food isn't delivered to the refugees soon.
- an area on the brink of catastrophe
Origin of CATASTROPHE
to overturn, from kata-
First Known Use: 1540
ca·tas·tro·phe noun \kə-ˈtas-trə-fē\ (Medical Dictionary)
: death (as from an inexplicable cause) before, during, or after an operation
Learn More About CATASTROPHE
Seen & Heard
What made you want to look up catastrophe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).