Definition of cataclysm in English:

cataclysm

Line breaks: cata|clysm
Pronunciation: /ˈkatəˌklɪz(ə)m
 
/

noun

1A large-scale and violent event in the natural world: the cataclysm at the end of the Cretaceous Period
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, across the globe, there are thousands of families like his: slowly rebuilding, trying to make sense of a natural cataclysm which changed their lives forever.
  • Many have noticed that poorer nations are more severely affected by natural cataclysms than developed nations.
  • These are not the victims of natural cataclysms, these are the victims of human greed for power, violence, stupidity, and of man's destructive impulses.
1.1A sudden violent political or social upheaval: the cataclysm of the First World War
More example sentences
  • It indicates that despite the political upheavals and cataclysms of the past decade, the core of military professionals, who constitute the nucleus of the Russian Armed Forces, has been preserved.
  • The country, he writes, has exceeded its ‘limit for political and socio-economic upheavals, cataclysms and radical reforms.’
  • He has never written a poem that addresses, passionately, or engages with, his own country's terrible political state, the cataclysms for centuries.
Synonyms
disaster, catastrophe, calamity, tragedy, act of God, devastation, crisis, holocaust, ruin, ruination, upheaval, convulsion, blow, shock, reverse, trouble, trial, tribulation; misfortune, mishap, accident, mischance, misadventure, woe, affliction, distress
informal meltdown, whammy
archaic bale
Scottish archaic mishanter

Origin

early 17th century (originally denoting the biblical Flood described in Genesis): from French cataclysme, via Latin from Greek kataklusmos 'deluge', from kata- 'down' + kluzein 'to wash'.

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