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
Spain didn't recover from this debacle, losing its second game to Chile and bowing out of the tournament without advancing to the knockout round.
Get our daily newsletter The Charles and Di debacle was one of several.
The #WengerOut debacle has been as hotly debated in Africa as anywhere else, and now the French tactician is gone fans are taking stock of his reign.
Sacrilege! Vogue staffers allegedly feel especially uncomfortable about the debacle, given that Clooney is the magazine’s May cover star.
Thomas keeps many of the classic scenes from the book, including Amy’s (Kathryn Newton) pickled lime debacle, Meg’s (Willa Fitzgerald) scorched ringlets, and Beth’s (Annes Elwy) piano recitals for Mr. Laurence.
This debacle is like having an aircraft carrier that can’t move off the docks when a war starts.
Thursday’s debacle – Scooter Gennett’s grand slam after entering mid at-bat only to walk Joey Votto – was behind Hand.
Once the dust settled following France's first and only World Cup to date, the inevitable inquest began back in South America after the debacle surrounding both Brazil's performance and the curious case of Ronaldo.
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
DEBACLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of debacle for English Language Learners
: a great disaster or complete failure
Seen and Heard
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