di·​sas·​trous | \ di-ˈzas-trəs also -ˈsas- How to pronounce disastrous (audio) \

Definition of disastrous

1 : attended by or causing suffering or disaster : calamitous a disastrous flood
2 : terrible, horrendous a disastrous score

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Other Words from disastrous

disastrously adverb

Examples of disastrous in a Sentence

Half the city was destroyed by a disastrous fire. The bad weather could have a disastrous effect on the area's tourism industry. His failure to back up the computer files had disastrous consequences. The strike was economically disastrous.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While human encounters with buzztails are not infrequent, pets are more likely to have unpleasant encounters that can be costly to treat and sometimes with disastrous results. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "It's rattlesnake season in the county," 9 June 2018 Bloomberg View senior executive editor David Shipley presents an editorial arguing that the European Union should be magnanimous in response to Britain’s disastrous election results. Bloomberg.com, "What Europe Should Do About Britain: View (Audio)," 12 June 2017 The shock to Belgium's aviation industry comes just a few weeks after a near-disaster here in the U.S. The U.S. government shutdown was temporarily halted at least in part because of its disastrous effect on American airspace. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Belgium Cancels All Flights For 24 Hours as Air Traffic Controllers Strike," 13 Feb. 2019 In the 42 months that have passed since then, an enhancement known as error-correcting code (or ECC) available in higher-end chips was believed to be an absolute defense against potentially disastrous bitflips that changed 0s to 1s and vice versa. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Potentially disastrous Rowhammer bitflips can bypass ECC protections," 22 Nov. 2018 Yet a rump of politicians fixated on those abstract ills now are driving Brexit politics—to disastrous effect. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Britain Risks Death by a Thousand Elections," 21 Nov. 2018 Scientists concluded that the most disastrous effects of climate change could occur by 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions occur at the current rate. Bridget Read, Vogue, "A New U.N. Climate Report Says That a Global Crisis Could Occur as Soon as 2040," 8 Oct. 2018 Even almond milk, once touted as a cruelty-free alternative to dairy, can have disastrous effects on the environment because of the water needed to produce it. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "The owner of a Maine lobster pound is sedating her lobsters with marijuana before killing them.," 19 Sep. 2018 Despite a disastrous World Cup campaign, the former German captain is feeling optimistic about the future of German football if the German coach can change his style. SI.com, "Philipp Lahm Says German Boss Joachim Löw Must Change Leadership Style in Order to Succeed Again," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disastrous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disastrous

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for disastrous

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for disastrous

The first known use of disastrous was in 1594

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More Definitions for disastrous



English Language Learners Definition of disastrous

: causing great suffering or loss
: very bad or unfortunate


di·​sas·​trous | \ diz-ˈas-trəs How to pronounce disastrous (audio) \

Kids Definition of disastrous

1 : causing great suffering or loss
2 : very bad a disastrous performance

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Comments on disastrous

What made you want to look up disastrous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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