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disaster

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noun di·sas·ter \di-ˈzas-tər, -ˈsas-\

Simple Definition of disaster

  • : something (such as a flood, tornado, fire, plane crash, etc.) that happens suddenly and causes much suffering or loss to many people

  • : something that has a very bad effect or result

  • : a complete or terrible failure

Full Definition of disaster

  1. 1 obsolete :  an unfavorable aspect of a planet or star

  2. 2 :  a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction; broadly :  a sudden or great misfortune or failure <the party was a disaster>

Examples of disaster

  1. The program examined several bridge failures and other engineering disasters.

  2. The new regulations could be a disaster for smaller businesses.

  3. They're trying to find a way to avoid disaster.

  4. The dinner party was a complete disaster.



Origin of disaster

Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French desastre, from Old Italian disastro, from dis- (from Latin) + astro star, from Latin astrum — more at astral


First Known Use: 1568



DISASTER Defined for Kids

disaster

play
noun di·sas·ter \diz-ˈas-tər, dis-\

Definition of disaster

  1. :  something (as a flood or a tornado) that happens suddenly and causes much suffering or loss



History for disaster

People who experience bad luck are sometimes said to be “star-crossed.” This expression comes from the belief that the position of the stars and planets has a direct influence on earthly events. The origins of the word disaster can be traced to this same belief. Disaster is borrowed from disastro, an Italian word formed from the negative prefix dis- and the noun astro, meaning “star.” Disastro originally referred to an unfortunate event, such as a military defeat, that took place when certain heavenly bodies were in an unlucky position.



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