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.

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

  2. catastrophe(Noun)

    A disaster beyond expectations

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

  3. catastrophe(Noun)

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

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

  4. catastrophe(Noun)

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

    Etymology: 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

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

  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

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

  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

    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?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say catastrophe in sign language?

  1. catastrophe


  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. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder:

    No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. Government failed you -- federal, state and local leaders -- by breaking the trust you placed in us.

  2. Hulusi Akar:

    Humanitarian problems grow each day and it is increasingly showing a tendency to turn into a catastrophe.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Harold Prévil:

    Right after the earthquake I felt a lot of hope, because I thought emerging from the catastrophe would make everyone a better person in the service of this country.

Images & Illustrations of catastrophe

  1. catastrophecatastrophecatastrophecatastrophecatastrophe

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:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

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:

Discuss these catastrophe definitions with the community:



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


    "catastrophe." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jan. 2021. <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!


    Are you a words master?

    a blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically
    • A. brasserie
    • B. anil
    • C. hodgepodge
    • D. lumberman

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for catastrophe:

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.