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disaster

Line breaks: dis|as¦ter
Pronunciation: /dɪˈzɑːstə
 
/

Definition of disaster in English:

noun

1A sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life: 159 people died in the disaster [mass noun]: disaster struck within minutes of take-off
More example sentences
  • Hurricane Katrina will be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history by a factor of five.
  • The horrific devastation caused by this tsunami may be the worst natural disaster in recent history.
  • And President Bush is offering U.S. aid and condolences to people affected by the Asian tsunami disaster.
Synonyms
setback, reversal, reverse of fortune, contretemps, stroke of ill luck, problem, difficulty, heavy blow, shock, buffet;
adversity, trouble, misfortune, ruin, ruination, tribulation, woe, distress
technical casualty
archaic bale
Scottish archaic mishanter
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting a genre of films that use natural or accidental catastrophe as the mainspring of plot and setting: a disaster movie
More example sentences
  • This disc is worth at least a rental, and if you're a fan of disaster type flicks, a purchase.
  • It felt like trespassing onto the film set of a disaster movie.
  • It's only a matter of time before we're treated to a World Trade Center disaster film.
1.2An event or fact that has unfortunate consequences: a string of personal disasters [mass noun]: reduced legal aid could spell financial disaster
More example sentences
  • But a series of personal disasters and financial ruin triggered a mental disorder that was to turn the father of two into a killer.
  • The suite contains the computers and equipment necessary to help a small business function in the event of a company disaster.
  • It was recognised as such by the Iraqi people, but the subsequent handling of events was a disaster.
1.3 informal A person or thing that is a complete failure: lunch had turned out to be a total disaster
More example sentences
  • And it was fine for all the media celebs to go to a ball game but it was a total disaster for Kerry to do so.
  • He's had a very hard time. His current situation is a total disaster.
  • Maize, a relatively new crop, is looking like a total disaster, according to Mr Dempsey.
Synonyms
failure, fiasco, catastrophe, mess, debacle;
British damp squib
informal flop, dud, washout, dead loss, dead duck, non-starter, no-hoper, fail
British informal car crash

Origin

late 16th century: from Italian disastro 'ill-starred event', from dis- (expressing negation) + astro 'star' (from Latin astrum).

More
  • In a disaster the stars are against you, for this is from Italian disastro ‘ill-starred event’, from dis- (expressing negation) and astro ‘star’ from Latin astrum. See also asterisk

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Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
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