What does catastrophe mean?

Definitions for catastrophe
kəˈtæs trə ficatas·tro·phe

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word catastrophe.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. calamity, catastrophe, disaster, tragedy, cataclysmnoun

    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune

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

  2. catastrophe, disasternoun

    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, cataclysmnoun

    a sudden violent change in the earth's surface


  1. catastrophenoun

    Any large and disastrous event of great significance.

  2. catastrophenoun

    A disaster beyond expectations

  3. catastrophenoun

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

  4. catastrophenoun

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

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Catastrophenoun

    Etymology: ϰαταστϱοφὴ.

    Pat!—He comes like the catastrophe of the old comedy. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    That philosopher declares for tragedies, whose catastrophes are unhappy, with relation to the principal characters. John Dennis.

    Here was a mighty revolution, the most horrible and portentuous catastrophe that nature ever yet saw; an elegant and habitable earth quite shattered. John Woodward, Nat. Hist.


  1. catastrophe

    A catastrophe is a sudden event that causes very significant damage, destruction, or loss. It typically refers to a natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, or hurricane, but it can also refer to a severe accident or incident caused by human error or conflict, such as a nuclear meltdown or war. Catastrophes often result in significant harm to people, the environment, or property, leading to enormous recovery efforts.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Catastrophenoun

    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. Catastrophenoun

    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. Catastrophenoun

    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. Etymology: [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.]

How to pronounce catastrophe?

How to say catastrophe in sign language?


  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. Puerto Ricans.Yet Trump:

    Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like (Hurricane) Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with, really, a storm that was just totally overpowering -- nobody has ever seen anything like this.

  2. Jeff Corwin:

    It's not all that different to the American California condors. You know, the California condor just a few decades ago was reduced to being nearly extinct in the wild. Now [there are] around 500-plus wild condors, but it's a highly managed population. It requires a lot of micromanagement to ensure that they survive in the wild, and, this will likely be the same in Australia … because Australia is the poster child as the Tasmanian devil is the poster child for incredible natural wonder and shocking environmental catastrophe.

  3. Valentina Matviyenko:

    The West blew up the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, and sowed chaos, bloodshed and a humanitarian catastrophe, measures must be taken to ensure nobody has the right to act like that in the world using such methods.

  4. Ernesto Araujo:

    There is no climate change catastrophe, from the debate that is going on it would seem that the world is ending.

  5. Luise Neumann-Cosel:

    We are on course for a catastrophe, we are in a car and we are driving at 250 km per hour toward an abyss... We need fewer cars.

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Translations for catastrophe

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"catastrophe." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/catastrophe>.

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