Definition of catastrophic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkadəˈsträfik/


1Involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering: a catastrophic earthquake
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  • 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.
1.1Involving a sudden and large-scale alteration in the state of something: the body undergoes catastrophic collapse toward the state of a black hole
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  • 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.
1.2Relating to geological catastrophism.
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.
2Extremely unfortunate or unsuccessful: catastrophic mismanagement of the economy
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  • 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.
disastrous, calamitous, cataclysmic, apocalyptic, ruinous, tragic, fatal, dire, awful, terrible, dreadful

Words that rhyme with catastrophic

dystrophic, philosophic, strophic, theosophic, trophic

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Syllabification: cat·a·stroph·ic

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