Definition of catastrophic in English:

catastrophic

Line breaks: cata|stroph¦ic
Pronunciation: /katəˈstrɒfɪk
 
/

adjective

1Involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering: a catastrophic earthquake
More example sentences
  • His life takes a sudden twist when a strong earthquake and aftershocks cause catastrophic damage to the subway system, trapping a train and its handful of passengers in harm's way.
  • Tonight those winds are picking up in the Mexican resort town of Cancun, which could suffer catastrophic damage from this powerful storm.
  • The magnitude of the natural disaster that the Indian Ocean rim countries suffered from the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami is said to be the worst in living memory.
1.1Extremely unfortunate or unsuccessful: catastrophic mismanagement of the economy
More example sentences
  • The institutionalization of welfare was catastrophic because of the extremely high rates of mortality that typically characterized these asylums.
  • More than twenty years after Rampton's landmark report, years of failure to educate Black children have been catastrophic for those young people and their communities.
  • The nomination, unfortunately, was followed by a truly catastrophic general election campaign in which he won only six states.
Synonyms
disastrous, calamitous, cataclysmic, ruinous, tragic, fatal, dire, awful, terrible, dreadful, black, woeful, grievous, lamentable, miserable, unfortunate
literary direful
1.2Involving a sudden and large-scale alteration in state: the body undergoes catastrophic collapse towards the state of a black hole
More example sentences
  • In the enormous densities of the early moments of the Big Bang the result would have been a catastrophic annihilation of matter and antimatter into radiation.
  • In an instant, an avalanche of electrons is rolling over the surface in a catastrophic flashover.
  • For the big stars (at least 8 times more massive than the Sun), this collapse is catastrophic.
1.3Relating to geological catastrophism.
More example sentences
  • Similarly, Darwin also describes the formations of rocks and minerals from the catastrophic effects of dynamic geological periods.
  • A number of contrasting geological processes can produce circular structures, ranging from catastrophic gas expulsion to form pockmark craters to meteorite impacts.
  • In contrast, the mineralized zones, above the topography created by the pre-mineralization igneous rocks, were not affected by this catastrophic sedimentation.

Derivatives

catastrophically

Pronunciation: /-ˈstrɒfɪk(ə)li/
adverb
More example sentences
  • But those kind of arguments tend to be right until the moment arrives when they're suddenly wrong - really wrong, catastrophically wrong.
  • It is the essence of catastrophically bad thinking to insist on choosing one or the other.
  • The majority of us aren't heroic people who instantly know what to do when their life is catastrophically upturned, and flawlessly execute on that knowledge.

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Pronunciation: naʊs
noun
common sense; practical intelligence