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
That legislators were prepared makes the debacle that unfolded all the more extraordinary, as lawmakers loyal to the Speaker — whose absence from the chamber was blindingly conspicuous — tried to shut DiZoglio down.
The Trump team’s response to the Clifford debacle seems to have been driven by the President’s vanity, temper, and resentment.
Kelly's ham-handed handling of the Rob Porter debacle and the resultant news coverage clearly knocked him down several pegs in Trump's eyes.
In the aftermath of the debacle, Regan was fired from HarperCollins, and subsequently settled a $100 million defamation lawsuit with News Corporation.
Unfortunately, the debacle denied everyone who worked on Moonlight the chance to fully relish the accolade, including director Barry Jenkins.
The first two games haven’t been conducive to that — the Vegas shutout was a debacle, and the Columbus game saw the Wings trail 3-1 by the game’s midpoint.
After the debacle that was the Note 7, Samsung probably won’t want to push the limits of the Note 9’s battery.
Six months later, after the debacle of Trump's response to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., Krein recanted his support for the president.
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
DEBACLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of debacle for English Language Learners
: a great disaster or complete failure
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