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



    BrE BrE//ˈzɑːstə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈzæstər//
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  1. 1  [countable] an unexpected event, such as a very bad accident, a flood or a fire, that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage synonym catastrophe an air disaster environmental disasters Thousands died in the disaster. a natural disaster (= one that is caused by nature) Wordfinderavalanche, cyclone, disaster, earthquake, eruption, flood, hurricane, landslide, tornado, tsunami
  2. 2  [countable, uncountable] a very bad situation that causes problems Losing your job doesn't have to be such a disaster. Disaster struck when the wheel came off. financial disaster The discovery of the disease among sheep spells financial disaster for farmers. Letting her organize the party is a recipe for disaster (= something that is likely to go badly wrong).
  3. 3  [countable, uncountable] (informal) a complete failure As a teacher, he's a disaster. The play's first night was a total disaster.
  4. Word Originlate 16th cent.: from Italian disastro ‘ill-starred event’, from dis- (expressing negation) + astro ‘star’ (from Latin astrum).Extra examples Any one of these nuclear plants may be a disaster waiting to happen. Buying that house turned out to be a financial disaster. Europe’s worst environmental disaster is unfolding at this very moment. Everyone had the feeling that disaster was imminent. Everything was going fine. Then, without warning, disaster struck. He called for a full investigation to help prevent future disasters. High-rise buildings proved a social disaster. His prediction was not heeded, and disaster ensued. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in history. I am a walking disaster when it comes to paperwork. I can already foresee the night turning into a total disaster. In a disaster everyone needs to keep calm. In the aftermath of the disaster people were too shocked to give a clear picture of what had happened. In the last match of the series England were facing disaster. Independent analysts in the market predicted disaster. It become a financial disaster scenario. It seemed that nothing could prevent the impending disaster. It was a miracle any of the passengers or crew survived the disaster. It was a miracle any of the passengers or crew survived the worst air disaster in Portugal for 20 years. It would spell certain economic disaster for our local community. It’s courting disaster to go into the mountains without proper weatherproof clothing. Just one mistake can mean disaster. Letting her organize the party is a recipe for disaster. No government could have handled a disaster of this magnitude effectively. One person’s mistakes can bring disaster to someone else. Only rescue workers are allowed into the disaster area. The area has been declared a disaster zone. The disaster relief operation will continue over the summer. The drought spelled economic disaster for the country. The festival ended up being a financial disaster for the promoters. The majority of enterprises aren’t spending very much on disaster recovery at all. The play was a complete disaster from beginning to end. The shirt was a definite fashion disaster. The show ended in disaster when the tent collapsed. Their departure spells social disaster for the region. There are many who have suffered personal disasters but managed to rebuild their lives. They had no real experience in disaster management. This is an unprecedented natural disaster. This morning I signed a disaster declaration for the state. We could all see that disaster loomed for the company. We have a disaster plan in place before every mission. What can be done to ward off environmental disaster? Will we ever find out why the disaster occurred? a Hollywood disaster movie a near disaster in the city centre an organization which provides help for the victims of the disaster attempts to find out what caused the disaster communities affected by disasters counties eligible for federal disaster assistance earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters fears of a nuclear disaster finding out why the disaster occurred his firm belief that the whole world was heading for disaster providing help for the victims of the disaster the biggest disaster in British mining history the governor’s disaster fund the greatest electoral disaster of the century the planning and implementation of disaster preparedness the unfolding storm disaster in the South the unforeseen disaster that has just been thrust upon us the world’s worst humanitarian disaster Although there was always the possibility of flooding, the Nile seldom brought disaster to Egypt. Disaster struck when the wheel came off. He was a competent accountant, but as a manager he’s a disaster. Losing your job doesn’t have to be such a disaster. Such environmental disasters will become increasingly frequent. The discovery of the disease among sheep spells disaster for farmers. The play’s first night was a total disaster. They were involved in the 2001 ferry disaster. They will not insure you against a natural disaster.Idioms
    an accident/a disaster waiting to happen
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    a thing or person that is very likely to cause danger or a problem in the future because of the condition it is in or the way they behave
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disaster