catastrophe  /kəˈtæstrəfi/  noun

: a terrible disaster


  • The oil spill was an environmental catastrophe.
  • Experts fear a humanitarian catastrophe if food isn’t delivered to the refugees soon.
  • global/nuclear/economic catastrophe


  • an area on the brink of catastrophe

— catastrophic /kætəˈstrɑfɪk/ adjective

  • The effect of the war on the economy was catastrophic.
  • catastrophic drought

— catastrophically ˌ/kætəˈstrɑfɪkli/ adverb

  • The dam failed catastrophically, flooding the entire valley.