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catastrophe

ca·tas·tro·phe

catastrophe

 
 
pronunciation:
k tae str fi
features:
Word History, Word Explorer, Word Parts
part of speech: noun
definition 1: a calamity with widespread effects; disaster.
Floods and earthquakes represent catastrophes not only for humans but for all forms of life.
 
synonyms:
calamity, cataclysm, disaster
similar words:
debacle, downfall, ruin, tragedy
definition 2: a disastrous conclusion or ending.
A pleasant drive in the country ended in catastrophe when a drunk driver slammed into their car.
synonyms:
bitter end
similar words:
aftermath, casualty, debacle, failure, flop, ruin, ruination, tragedy, wreck
definition 3: the aftermath of the climax in a drama, esp. classical Greek tragedy; denouement.
synonyms:
denouement
similar words:
aftermath, conclusion, consummation, resolution
derivations: catastrophic (adj.), catastrophically (adv.)
Word History
Catastrophe 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.
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  sadness
Word Parts
The word catastrophe contains the following part:
cata- Greek prefix that means down; completely, thoroughly; against; according to