Last modified on 22 October 2014, at 17:19

disaster

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle French desastre, from Italian disastro, from dis- + astro (star), from Latin astrum (star), from Ancient Greek ἄστρον (ástron, star), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂stḗr.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

disaster (plural disasters)

  1. An unexpected natural or man-made catastrophe of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life or sometimes permanent change to the natural environment.
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28: 
      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.
  2. An unforeseen event causing great loss, upset or unpleasantness of whatever kind.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, The Unknown Ajax:
      And no use for anyone to tell Charles that this was because the Family was in mourning for Mr Granville Darracott […]: Charles might only have been second footman at Darracott Place for a couple of months when that disaster occurred, but no one could gammon him into thinking that my lord cared a spangle for his heir.
    • 2003, The Devil Wears Prada
      A nod means good, two nods; very good. And then there's the pursing of the lips: disaster.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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