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

Definition of catastrophism

: a geological 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

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Other Words from catastrophism

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

Examples of catastrophism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s something indulgent, even weirdly complacent, in the basement catastrophism of these dudes. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Live-Streaming the Apocalypse With NRATV," 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, "Czeslaw Milosz’s Invincible Reason," 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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Cite this Entry

“Catastrophism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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