debacle was our Word of the Day on 09/11/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of debacle in a Sentence
- What a debacle. Next thing he knew, one of the patients would turn up dead. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville, 1993
- So what had been intended as an orderly hearing ended in a general debacle, for as soon as Fray Domingo saw his protector dragged toward the exit door, he leaped at the guards and began pummeling them. —James A. Michener, Texas, 1985
- Savings themselves evaporate in the course of such a debacle and thus the very wherewithal for reversing and retrieving the situation is lost … —Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, 1984
After the debacle of his first novel, he had trouble getting a publisher for his next book.
the financial debacle that was the stock market crash of 1929
Recent Examples of debacle from the Web
The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback missed 26 of 48 games since 2015, and the result was consecutive 8-8 finishes before this season's (4-12) debacle during which Luck never took a snap.
Before that debacle, Sacramento rarely played competitively away from home, so two or three road wins by the end of December seemed overly optimistic.
When discussion of the future with close friend Hue Jackson began following the 2015 season playoff debacle against Pittsburgh, the first clue dropped.
Following the debacle that was the firing of head coach Butch Jones and its aftermath at Tennessee, Dr. Phillips defensive back Tanner Ingle decided to back off his pledge to the Vols and that opened the door for other schools, namely NC State.
Has the Bears debacle humbled him, or will his ego still need to be fed?
Tell me a bit about the elevator debacle from your first Grammy trip.
However, like the Vietnam debacle, the war on terror is a bipartisan project, and so is the secrecy surrounding it.
One of the first casualties of the dam’s collapse, the electrical plant was quickly rebuilt following the debacle.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'debacle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Origin of debacle is French
Debacle comes from the French noun débâcle, which comes from the verb débâcler, meaning "to clear," "to unbolt," or "to unbar." That verb is from Middle French desbacler, which joined the prefix des- (equivalent to our de-, meaning "to do the opposite of") with the verb "bacler" ("to block"). In its original uses, "debacle" meant a breaking up of ice, or the rush of ice or water that follows such an occurrence. Eventually, "debacle" was used also to mean "a violent, destructive flood." Naturally, such uses led to meanings such as "a breaking up," "collapse," and finally "disaster" or "fiasco."
Origin and Etymology of debacle
First Known Use: 1802See Words from the same year
Synonymsapocalypse, calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, disaster (also débâcle), tragedy
Antonymsblockbuster, hit, smash, success, winner
Related Wordsbloodbath, collapse, crash, meltdown; Armageddon, doomsday, end-time; convulsion, paroxysm, upheaval; accident, casualty, fatality; misadventure, mischance, misfortune, mishap; blast, blow, double whammy, one-two (or one-two punch)
Near Antonymsgodsend, manna, windfall
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