- Word History, Word Explorer
|part of speech:
||an event that brings great harm, suffering, or loss to a large area or many people; terrible disaster.
The earthquake was a catastrophe that destroyed many cities.
- calamity, disaster
- similar words:
- ruin, tragedy
||blow, collapse, misfortune
||catastrophic (adj.), catastrophically (adv.)
is from a Greek word that means "overturning" or complete change. It referred to the ending of a play, or the outcome of certain events. The ending could be either happy or tragic. "Catastrophe" is now mostly used for a tragic event.