Definition of catastrophe noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kəˈtæstrəfi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈtæstrəfi//
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  1. 1a sudden event that causes many people to suffer synonym disaster Early warnings of rising water levels prevented another major catastrophe.
  2. 2an event that causes one person or a group of people personal suffering, or that makes difficulties The attempt to expand the business was a catastrophe for the firm. We've had a few catastrophes with the food for the party.
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘denouement’): from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophē ‘overturning, sudden turn’, from kata- ‘down’ + strophē ‘turning’ (from strephein ‘to turn’).Extra examples The country is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. These policies could lead the country to environmental catastrophe. We had a few catastrophes with the food for the party. moves to avert a national catastrophe It wouldn’t be a catastrophe if he didn’t turn up. The verdict of this hearing is a personal and professional catastrophe for her.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: catastrophe

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