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

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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

Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman, who was respected for informing the public accurately and quickly about the country’s frequent natural calamities, has died. Washington Post, "Indonesia’s respected disaster agency spokesman dies at 49," 8 July 2019 In each case, cities that faced losing valuable records avoided that calamity, and at a modest financial cost. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "As Florida cities use insurance to pay $1 million in ransoms to hackers, Baltimore and Maryland weigh getting covered," 5 July 2019 Then there were other calamities, like flooding that caused some graves to sink, Meador said. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio, latimes.com, "Haunted by financial problems, a Long Beach cemetery ponders death," 27 June 2019 And while most of the parties involved in the closed-door negotiations are eager to avoid fiscal calamity, the president has proved to be a wild card willing to wield the threat of government shutdowns, debt default and dire cuts. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "House Moves Forward With Spending Bills as Congress Grapples With Looming Fiscal Deadlines," 19 June 2019 In Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, a terrible calamity engulfs the world: Zombies rise from the grave and start indiscriminately consuming the flesh of the living. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Dead Don’t Die," 14 June 2019 But what if calamity hadn't befallen the dinosaurs? Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Would dinosaurs have died without an asteroid strike? Here's the science.," 6 Mar. 2019 Imbecility in the government; discord among the provinces; foreign influence and indignities; a precarious existence in peace, and peculiar calamities from war. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "GOP repeats ObamaCare mistakes on immigration," 18 June 2018 And while the Casio's ability to withstand a hard hit from a bat was particularly impressive, all of them can handle most common calamities. Seth Porges, Popular Mechanics, "Ruggedized Cameras Comparison Test," 21 Sep. 2010

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

10 Jul 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 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

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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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