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.
Did You Know?
The -clysm part of cataclysm comes from the Greek word meaning "to wash", so cataclysm's original meaning was "flood, deluge", and especially Noah's Flood itself. A cataclysm causes great and lasting changes. An earthquake or other natural disaster that changes the landscape is one kind of cataclysm, but a violent political revolution may also be a cataclysmic event. Many cataclysms could instead be called catastrophes.
Origin and Etymology of cataclysm
French cataclysme, from Latin cataclysmos, from Greek kataklysmos, from kataklyzein to inundate, from kata- + klyzein to wash — more at clyster
First Known Use: 1599
CATACLYSM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cataclysm for English Language Learners
: something that causes great destruction, violence, etc.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up cataclysm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).