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 But for the most part, First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder is a raw portrait of a world-class songwriter processing calamity and chaos in real time. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "Todd Snider Processes Tragedy with Freewheeling Storytelling on ‘First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder’," 29 Apr. 2021 Seizing an opportunity born of generational calamity, Biden has embraced momentous action over incremental progress, with the goal of making the economy fairer and stronger. Jonathan Lemire And Josh Boak, chicagotribune.com, "Biden to pitch $1.8 trillion plan to aid children, families, education in his first joint address to Congress," 28 Apr. 2021 Seizing an opportunity born of generational calamity, Biden has embraced momentous action over incremental progress, with the goal of making the economy fairer and stronger. BostonGlobe.com, "Biden to pitch sweeping ‘family plan’ in first joint address to Congress," 28 Apr. 2021 Indeed, the prospect of nuclear calamity looms in the background of current geopolitics. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "The Book That Stopped an Outbreak of Nuclear War," 16 Apr. 2021 The notoriety and calamity of those days are inextricably part of the case, but the issue now is fair sentencing. Washington Post, "Tony Lewis Jr. helps men freed from prison. He wants his father to be one of the men he helps.," 20 Apr. 2021 Congressman Alcee Hastings, whose life was marked by perseverance, calamity and a comeback, has died. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Congressman Alcee Hastings, after career of triumph, calamity and comeback, dies at 84," 6 Apr. 2021 In the secretary of state’s response, her lawyers wrote that the unprecedented calamity of the last year and the related census delay would not justify the court ignoring Oregon’s constitutional redistricting deadlines. oregonlive, "Oregon secretary of state hires constitutional law expert to strengthen her position to have say in redistricting," 20 Mar. 2021 The border calamity is the starkest contrast of the transition from Trump to Biden. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "A Man-Made Disaster at the Border," 20 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for calamity

Time Traveler

The first known use of calamity was in the 15th century

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Statistics for calamity

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calamity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calamity. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on calamity

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