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

And if a radicalized Labour Party takes power in the wake of a Brexit calamity, the survival of the trans-Atlantic alliance could be at risk. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "A Nasty Brexit Threatens the West," 24 Sep. 2018 In the aftermath of that calamity, nobody of importance went to jail. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Jeff Skilling and a reminder that white-collar crime doesn’t have to pay," 4 Sep. 2018 The year — 1968 — wasn’t even halfway over by the time Kennedy was assassinated, a shocking event in a year of stunning calamity. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "‘Some sad and scary things’: Mister Rogers consoled kids by telling them the truth," 8 June 2018 Technology has made the repo man ruthlessly efficient, allowing this familiar angel of financial calamity to capitalize on a dark corner of the United States' strong economy: the soaring number of people falling behind on their car payments. Todd C. Frankel, chicagotribune.com, "Riding with the repo man: as auto loan defaults rise, car repossessions skyrocket," 16 May 2018 What you can be guaranteed of is that some sort of calamity will happen. David A. Keeps, House Beautiful, "Alex Hitz on Designing a House for Entertaining," 1 Oct. 2012 All the themes of Trump’s character and Administration were embodied in this wrenching calamity. Molly Ball, Time, "Trump Backed Down, But the Crisis at the Border Is Far From Over," 21 June 2018 And enough of that calamity eventually will lead to the ugly sort of results feared by NASCAR and its competitors. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Joey Logano keeps his cool to collect third Talladega win," 29 Apr. 2018 To Albanians, the eagle denotes pride, heroism, strength and, ultimately, their ability as a people to survive historical calamities — of which there have been many. Ani Kokobobo, Washington Post, "For Albanians, it’s not just an eagle. Here’s the deeper story those World Cup fines.," 2 July 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

11 Dec 2018

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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

: 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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