ca·​lam·​i·​tous | \ kə-ˈla-mə-təs How to pronounce calamitous (audio) \

Definition of calamitous

: being, causing, or accompanied by calamity calamitous events a calamitous earthquake

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Other Words from calamitous

calamitously adverb

Examples of calamitous in a Sentence

the calamitous state of the nation's economy a calamitous decision to sell their products online exclusively ruined the business
Recent Examples on the Web Lam is already the most unpopular and calamitous leader in Hong Kong’s modern history, her decisions and failures of governance having borne consequences that are global in reach. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "A Stubborn Leader, a Broken System," 18 June 2020 Whatever the cause, the result was a calamitous and chaotic presidential transition. Walter M. Shaub Jr., The New York Review of Books, "Ransacking the Republic," 17 June 2020 Russia’s envoy derided a ‘‘calamitous state of human rights’’ in the United States., "George Floyd’s brother seeks UN’s help to fight racism in US," 17 June 2020 As our country confronts a calamitous loss of life, widespread isolation, and deep social fractures, there will be an even greater need for mental health services. Isobel Rosenthal, Scientific American, "Mental Health after COVID-19," 17 June 2020 The onset of the pandemic — and the potential for a calamitous overrun of the city’s health care system — activated Aragón’s mostly latent powers as health officer to take drastic steps to safeguard the public. Dominic Fracassa,, "He’s been SF’s most powerful person in pandemic response. You don’t know his name.," 14 June 2020 Roberts’s calamitous ignorance has done grievous damage. David Daley, Time, "Voter Suppression Is Still One of the Greatest Obstacles to a More Just America," 12 June 2020 As many have discovered, long-lasting lockdowns, ordered from on high, tend to be both hard to enforce and to come at a calamitous cost to the economy and to people’s overall health. The Economist, "The other three-quarters The pandemic is still gathering pace in most of the world," 4 June 2020 Closing beaches for the summer would be calamitous for seasonal businesses in Coney Island and the Rockaways, which have experienced a resurgence in recent years as beachgoers throng local concessions and other businesses. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "Summer Is Coming. Don’t Count on N.Y.C.’s Beaches for Relief.," 16 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calamitous.' 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 calamitous

1545, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for calamitous

see calamity

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Time Traveler for calamitous

Time Traveler

The first known use of calamitous was in 1545

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Statistics for calamitous

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calamitous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for calamitous


How to pronounce calamitous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of calamitous

formal : causing great harm or suffering

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calamitous

Spanish Central: Translation of calamitous

Nglish: Translation of calamitous for Spanish Speakers

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