cataclysm

noun
cat·​a·​clysm | \ˈka-tə-ˌkli-zəm \

Definition of cataclysm 

1 : flood, deluge

3 : a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition broadly : an event that brings great changes an international economic cataclysm

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Other Words from cataclysm

cataclysmal \ ˌka-​tə-​ˈkliz-​məl \ or cataclysmic \ -​mik \ adjective
cataclysmically \ -​mi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for cataclysm

Synonyms

alluvion, bath, cataract, deluge, flood, flood tide, inundation, Niagara, overflow, spate, torrent

Antonyms

drought (also drouth)

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Examples of cataclysm in a Sentence

floods, earthquakes, and other cataclysms The country barely survived the cataclysm of war. The revolution could result in worldwide cataclysm.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers have long cited intense volcanism in modern-day Siberia as the main culprit behind the cataclysm, also known as the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, 252 million years ago. Lucas Joel, Scientific American, "Oxygen Depletion Smothered Marine Life in Earth's Largest Mass Extinction," 15 May 2018 But even as that crisis subsided, hospitals began grappling with the aftermath of another industry cataclysm: serious manufacturing problems at Pfizer, the nation’s largest maker of generic injectable drugs. Katie Thomas, BostonGlobe.com, "Drug shortages said to be worsening," 2 July 2018 But even as that crisis subsided, hospitals began grappling with the aftermath of another industry cataclysm — serious manufacturing problems at Pfizer, the nation’s largest maker of generic injectable drugs. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "Emergency Rooms Run Out of Vital Drugs, and Patients Are Feeling It," 1 July 2018 That cosmic cataclysm changed the Milky Way’s structure forever, shaping the thick spirals that spin out from the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core. Ramin Skibba, WIRED, "This Galactic Collision Shaped the History of the Milky Way," 8 July 2018 President Trump's defeat of Clinton is depicted as the cataclysm that allows China to take center stage culturally and politically. Jessica Gelt, latimes.com, "Conrad Ricamora, Oliver on 'How to Get Away With Murder,' on the provocative, political 'Soft Power'," 15 May 2018 Titled For Honor: Marching Fire, apparently the cataclysm is now bringing China into the fray. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Ubisoft's E3 reveals: Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Division 2, Beyond Good & Evil 2, and more," 11 June 2018 That history makes clear that short of a major cultural cataclysm, Democrats are going to pick up seats. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The case against Democrats winning back the House," 25 May 2018 The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual singing competition created by the European Broadcasting Union in 1956 to try to prevent another cataclysm like World War II. USA TODAY, "Mother's Day, Iraqi election, Eurovision Song Contest, 5 things you need to know this weekend," 12 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cataclysm.' 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 cataclysm

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cataclysm

French cataclysme, from Latin cataclysmos, from Greek kataklysmos, from kataklyzein to inundate, from kata- + klyzein to wash — more at clyster

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Statistics for cataclysm

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cataclysm

The first known use of cataclysm was in 1599

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More Definitions for cataclysm

cataclysm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cataclysm

: something that causes great destruction, violence, etc.

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Comments on cataclysm

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