cat·​a·​clysm | \ ˈka-tə-ˌkli-zəm How to pronounce cataclysm (audio) \

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

Other Words from cataclysm

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for cataclysm



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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 This look is consistent with what historians have classified as the city’s Fourth Style, which was prevalent in the years immediately before the cataclysm. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 To defeat Despero and prevent the eponymous cataclysm, Barry enlists the help of several heroes like Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and the Atom (Brandon Routh); however, Barry will need Iris, too. Chancellor Agard,, 16 Nov. 2021 On Monday the jury in Rittenhouse's homicide trial will hear the final, polished versions of those takes on the cataclysm his actions brought to a city already reeling from three days of social unrest, looting and arson last year. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Nov. 2021 The cataclysm sparked by the portentous result that brought the ruling coalition, Frente de Todos, to the precipice seems to have sucked the air out of the political arena. Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Just more than 713,400 passengers passed through the airport in August, which was 82 percent of the number in August 2019, six months before the cataclysm. Greg Jefferson, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Oct. 2021 Local evidence of the cataclysm has literally washed away over the years. Max G. Levy, Wired, 23 Sep. 2021 Crises, at least of the American variety, sometimes announce themselves long before the fact, like a save-the-date notice for a future cataclysm. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2021 The commissioner’s second take was a fitting moment for a cataclysm steeped in media angles. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021

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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The first known use of cataclysm was in 1599

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cataclysm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of cataclysm

: something that causes great destruction, violence, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on cataclysm

Nglish: Translation of cataclysm for Spanish Speakers


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