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

The dereliction leaves the district ripe for fraud thanks to poor internal controls, says the report from the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, which helps guide public schools and colleges out of financial calamity. Nanette Asimov, SFChronicle.com, "‘High risk of insolvency’ for troubled Peralta Community College District," 25 July 2019 Some even go even further and claim the 401(k) system itself is the sinister cause of this calamity. Josh B. Mcgee, Twin Cities, "Josh B. McGee: What retirement savings crisis?," 21 July 2019 So there’s no escaping some category of potential calamity in California. George Skelton, The Mercury News, "Skelton: What’s the safest California city in an earthquake?," 15 July 2019 The b oard is poised to release $117.5 million for the calamity, having to date been wined and dined, and their egos massaged, by wily museum director Michael Govan. Los Angeles Times, "Reader feedback: Is the LACMA redesign a ‘calamity’ in the making?," 20 July 2019 Another defensive calamity then allowed Croatia a route back into the match. SI.com, "UEFA European Under-21 Championship Roundup: Romania Stay Top While England Remain Winless," 25 June 2019 Such calamities would dominate our nation’s news and drive swift political action. Beth Ford, Fortune, "Land O’Lakes CEO: Farmers Are in Crisis—and America Isn’t Paying Attention," 11 June 2019 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

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

7 Aug 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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