calamity

play
noun ca·lam·i·ty \kə-ˈla-mə-tē\

Definition of calamity

plural

calamities

  1. 1 :  a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss

  2. 2 :  a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering calamities of nature an economic calamity

Examples of calamity in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. floods, earthquakes, and other calamities

  5. He predicted calamity for the economy.

Recent Examples of calamity from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of calamity

Middle English calamytey, from Latin calamitat-, calamitas; perhaps akin to Latin clades destruction


CALAMITY Defined for English Language Learners

calamity

play
noun

Definition of calamity for English Language Learners

  • : an event that causes great harm and suffering


CALAMITY Defined for Kids

calamity

play
noun ca·lam·i·ty \kə-ˈla-mə-tē\

Definition of calamity for Students

plural

calamities

  1. 1 :  great distress or misfortune … he felt oppressed by the vague sense of impending calamity. — Jack London, The Call of the Wild

  2. 2 :  an event that causes great harm and suffering :  disaster

calamitous

\-təs\ adjective


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