What does catastrophe mean?

Definitions for catastrophe
kəˈtæs trə ficatas·tro·phe

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word catastrophe.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. calamity, catastrophe, disaster, tragedy, cataclysm(noun)

    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune

    "the whole city was affected by the irremediable calamity"; "the earthquake was a disaster"

  2. catastrophe, disaster(noun)

    a state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune

    "lack of funds has resulted in a catastrophe for our school system"; "his policies were a disaster"

  3. catastrophe, cataclysm(noun)

    a sudden violent change in the earth's surface


  1. catastrophe(Noun)

    Any large and disastrous event of great significance.

  2. catastrophe(Noun)

    A disaster beyond expectations

  3. catastrophe(Noun)

    The dramatic event that initiates the resolution of the plot in a tragedy.

  4. catastrophe(Noun)

    A type of bifurcation, where a system shifts between two stable states.

  5. Origin: From καταστροφή, from καταστρέφω, from κατά + στρέφω

Webster Dictionary

  1. Catastrophe(noun)

    an event producing a subversion of the order or system of things; a final event, usually of a calamitous or disastrous nature; hence, sudden calamity; great misfortune

  2. Catastrophe(noun)

    the final event in a romance or a dramatic piece; a denouement, as a death in a tragedy, or a marriage in a comedy

  3. Catastrophe(noun)

    a violent and widely extended change in the surface of the earth, as, an elevation or subsidence of some part of it, effected by internal causes

  4. Origin: [L. catastropha, Gr. , fr. to turn up and down, to overturn; kata` down + to turn.]


  1. Catastrophe

    Catastrophe is a short play by Samuel Beckett, written in French in 1982 at the invitation of A.I.D.A. and “[f]irst produced in the Avignon Festival … Beckett considered it ‘massacred.’” It is one of his few plays to deal with a political theme and, arguably, holds the title of Beckett's most optimistic work. It was dedicated to then imprisoned Czech reformer and playwright, Václav Havel.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Catastrophe

    kat-as′trō-fē, n. an overturning: a final event: an unfortunate conclusion: a calamity.—adj. Catastroph′icns. Catas′trophism, the theory in geology that accounts for 'breaks in the succession' by the hypothesis of vast catastrophes—world-wide destruction of floras and faunas, and the sudden introduction or creation of new forms of life, after the forces of nature had sunk into repose; Catas′trophist, a holder of the foregoing, as opposed to the uniformitarian theory. [Gr., kata, down, strephein, to turn.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of catastrophe in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of catastrophe in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of catastrophe in a Sentence

  1. Marilyn Puder-York:

    It doesn't have to be a catastrophe.

  2. Davjigbold Ariunbold:

    It's not a drought, it's a catastrophe.

  3. Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Todorov:

    This is a catastrophe of unprecedented proportion.

  4. President Barack Obama:

    It was a natural disaster but also a man-made catastrophe.

  5. State John Kerry:

    But what happens if the climate skeptics are wrong? Catastrophe.

Images & Illustrations of catastrophe

  1. catastrophecatastrophecatastrophe

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for catastrophe

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for catastrophe »


Find a translation for the catastrophe definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these catastrophe definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"catastrophe." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 19 Jan. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/catastrophe>.

Are we missing a good definition for catastrophe? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for catastrophe:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.