Dictionary

catastrophe

noun ca·tas·tro·phe \kə-ˈtas-trə-(ˌ)fē\

: a terrible disaster

Full Definition of CATASTROPHE

1
:  the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy
2
:  a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin
3
a :  a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth
b :  a violent usually destructive natural event (as a supernova)
4
:  utter failure :  fiasco <the party was a catastrophe>
cat·a·stroph·ic \ˌka-tə-ˈsträ-fik\ adjective
cat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of CATASTROPHE

  1. The oil spill was an environmental catastrophe.
  2. Experts fear a humanitarian catastrophe if food isn't delivered to the refugees soon.
  3. an area on the brink of catastrophe

Origin of CATASTROPHE

Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from kata- + strephein to turn
First Known Use: 1540

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody

catastrophe

noun ca·tas·tro·phe \kə-ˈtas-trə-fē\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CATASTROPHE

:  death (as from an inexplicable cause) before, during, or after an operation

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: catastrophe theoryPrevious Word in the Dictionary: catastasisAll Words Near: catastrophe
March 28, 2015
persiflage Hear it
Frivolous bantering talk
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears