calamity

noun
ca·​lam·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈla-mə-tē \
plural calamities

Definition of calamity

1 : a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering calamities of nature an economic calamity
2 : a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss

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Examples of calamity in a Sentence

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 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 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 floods, earthquakes, and other calamities He predicted calamity for the economy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That would do more economic damage and cause some nervy days in the stock market, but not necessarily calamity, said Brad W. Setser, a fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "Investors Fret About a Trade War, but They Aren’t Fleeing the Stock Market," 17 June 2018 According to climatologists from around the world, exceeding a two degree increase in global warming triggers irreversible climate calamity. Anchorage Daily News, "Beyond oil: Alaska’s first step is a sustainable budget," 7 Feb. 2018 Speaking of the 2008 housing collapse, one might naturally be alarmed by the prospect of a housing slowdown, given the financial calamity that occurred as a result of the last housing slowdown. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Housing market signaled potential future downturn in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release on Thursday the results of its annual stress tests of major banks, a measure of whether the banks can withstand an economic downturn or an unexpected financial market calamity. New York Times, "Central Bankers Will Debate Policy, and OPEC Meets on Output," 17 June 2018 Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said emergency calamity funds would be used to help workers at tourist establishments affected by Boracay’s temporary closure. Washington Post, "Philippines to shut polluted isle Duterte called a cesspool," 5 Apr. 2018 Despite the sell-off, most analysts believe that Capita’s announcement should forestall, rather than hasten, another Carillion-style calamity. The Economist, "Kitchen-sink timeCapita is the latest outsourcing firm in trouble," 3 Feb. 2018 But while individual lines on the record hint at calamity and decay, the songs are fragmented, and the effect is more like a collage. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "‘Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?’ by Deerhunter Review: A Statelier Kind of Chaos," 9 Jan. 2019 Shutdowns needlessly hurt government employees, but don’t cause broader economic calamity and are generally treated as an acceptable cost of negotiating. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump has eroded important democratic institutions. Will Democratic wins change that?," 8 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calamity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of calamity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for calamity

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

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Statistics for calamity

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for calamity

The first known use of calamity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for calamity

calamity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of calamity

formal : an event that causes great harm and suffering

calamity

noun
ca·​lam·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈla-mə-tē \
plural calamities

Kids Definition of calamity

1 : great distress or misfortune … he felt oppressed by the vague sense of impending calamity.— Jack London, The Call of the Wild
2 : an event that causes great harm and suffering : disaster

Other Words from calamity

calamitous \ -​təs \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on calamity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calamity

Spanish Central: Translation of calamity

Nglish: Translation of calamity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calamity for Arabic Speakers

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