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disaster

dis·as·ter

disaster

 
 
pronunciation:
dih zae str
features:
Word Combinations (noun), Word History, Word Explorer, Word Parts
part of speech: noun
definition 1: a sudden calamity, esp. one causing widespread damage or suffering such as an earthquake, flood, oil spill, or fire.
Thousands of people were left homeless by the disaster.
 
synonyms:
calamity, catastrophe, tragedy
similar words:
accident, affliction, blow, cataclysm, debacle, misfortune, mishap, ruination, scourge
definition 2: a complete failure; fiasco.
The first fancy meal I tried to cook was a disaster.
synonyms:
fiasco
similar words:
bomb, bust, dud, failure, fizzle, flop, washout
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Word History
Disaster comes from disastro, an Italian word that means "without the stars." In former times, it was thought that the stars influenced human events. Terrible events were believed to have been caused by an unlucky position of the stars.
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