ca·​tas·​tro·​phism | \ kə-ˈta-strə-ˌfi-zəm How to pronounce catastrophism (audio) \

Definition of catastrophism

: a geologic doctrine that changes in the earth's crust have in the past been brought about suddenly by physical forces operating in ways that cannot be observed today — compare uniformitarianism

Other Words from catastrophism

catastrophist \ kə-​ˈta-​strə-​fist How to pronounce catastrophism (audio) \ noun

Examples of catastrophism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The geological theory known as catastrophism postulated that major features such as the Grand Canyon, Himalayas, etc. Mano Singham, Scientific American, 5 Sep. 2021 There had been a paranoid catastrophism to much of the right since The Road to Serfdom. Zachary D. Carter, The New Republic, 17 June 2021 Here Yglesias argues that environmentalist catastrophism is simply wrong on the facts, while Green New Deal–style radicalism is a policy nonstarter. Razib Khan, National Review, 12 Sep. 2020 There’s something indulgent, even weirdly complacent, in the basement catastrophism of these dudes. James Parker, The Atlantic, 5 May 2018 There would always be in his work an element of catastrophism, a doomed sense of the horrors to come. Edward Hirsch, New Republic, 30 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catastrophism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of catastrophism

1869, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of catastrophism was in 1869

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Dictionary Entries Near catastrophism

catastrophe theory



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Cite this Entry

“Catastrophism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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