debacle was our Word of the Day on 09/11/2010. Hear the podcast!
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 longtime Flint Journal reporter has written more than 300 articles about the water debacle since the city began using the corrosive Flint River as its drinking source in early 2014.
The Jets were crushed by the Chiefs two weeks ago in Kansas City, turning the ball over eight times in a 24-3 debacle.
As soon became apparent, Boehner’s 2011 debacle was not a glitch but part of an emerging pattern.
Now one of the timeshare interval owners in the tower is on the hook to pay for the debacle after his role in orchestrating the shoddy work — and profiting from it — was exposed.
And Boaty McBoatface as a research ship is not nearly the end of this debacle.
When more video showed Rice punching Palmer in the face and knocking her to the elevator floor, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely, but the league’s inept handling of the case had already become a full-blown debacle.
Hyperfeminist interest in early Christianity, Christian Askeland claimed, was what had led to this whole debacle.
The Securities Exchange Commission is also looking into the trade debacle.
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Did You Know?
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
French débâcle, from débâcler to clear, from Middle French desbacler, from des- de- + bacler to block, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bacculare, from Latin baculum staff
First Known Use: 1802
DEBACLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of debacle for English Language Learners
: a great disaster or complete failure
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