calamity

noun
ca·​lam·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈla-mə-tē How to pronounce calamity (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Kinchen had the wound patched up, but that wasn’t the end of the calamity. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "What do players focus on in the hours before the Super Bowl?," 1 Feb. 2020 Punishment has yet to be determined, but the give-it-back and the go-to-prison phases of this calamity are about to begin. David Segal, New York Times, "It May Be the Biggest Tax Heist Ever. And Europe Wants Justice.," 23 Jan. 2020 More than 121,000 people fled their homes just in Batangas province, which has declared a state of calamity to allow faster releases of emergency funds. Washington Post, "Philippine volcano’s quakes, cracks send more people fleeing," 16 Jan. 2020 Instead, Zelman’s vision of ecological calamity considers first and foremost the experiences of individual plants and animals living on an increasingly alien planet. Jordan G. Teicher, The New Republic, "An Animal’s-Eye View of Mass Extinction in Progress," 7 Jan. 2020 The effects of this pressure are often compounded when using more difficult to shoot or primitive gear, causing all sorts of calamity. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Why YouTube Videos Don’t Make You A Hunter," 7 Jan. 2020 America, in perhaps its most glorious moment, preserved political liberty while cushioning the blow of economic calamity. The Economist, "Open Future Is liberalism really kaput?," 4 Dec. 2019 The hours are long, the pay mediocre, the risk of calamity never quite over the horizon. Wired, "Why Lightning Strikes Twice as Much Over Shipping Lanes," 9 Oct. 2019 Each week brings a new story of some calamity brought by vaping. Sarah Milov, Time, "How the Vaping Industry Is Using a Defensive Tactic Pioneered Decades Ago by Big Tobacco," 2 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calamity

Time Traveler for calamity

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for calamity

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calamity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calamities. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for calamity

calamity

noun
How to pronounce calamity (audio)

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 How to pronounce calamity (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on calamity

What made you want to look up calamity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!