Cataclysm



any violent upheaval, especially one of a social or political nature.
Physical Geography. a sudden and violent physical action producing changes in the earth’s surface.
an extensive flood; deluge.
Contemporary Examples

The poet remains coolly detached: a circumspect observer in the face of cataclysm.
Catastrophe in Verse Eliza Griswold April 20, 2011

In the cataclysm that followed, the survival of republican government indeed was in peril.
The Right Wing Screams for the Wambulance Over Gay Marriage Ruling Walter Olson October 12, 2014

Historical Examples

Men everywhere felt that the social system was threatened with a cataclysm.
Albert Gallatin John Austin Stevens

There was no doubt in his mind that somehow they had been responsible for the cataclysm.
Pirates of the Gorm Nat Schachner

And the second cataclysm in the House, even at its worst (which was what mamma had made it), was hardly comparable to the first.
V. V.’s Eyes Henry Sydnor Harrison

He had snatched a soul for himself out of a cataclysm, remember.
A Set of Six Joseph Conrad

I leave these airy words of prophecy as they stood in 1912 before the cataclysm!
Aspects and Impressions Edmund Gosse

I have been trying to save my soul with it in the cataclysm of a world.
The Ghost in the White House Gerald Stanley Lee

He was the first writer who ventured to maintain that the universality of the Mosaic cataclysm ought not to be insisted upon.
Principles of Geology Charles Lyell

Yet the Romanoffs went in the cataclysm, and so, too, did the Gorys.
Gigolo Edna Ferber

noun
a violent upheaval, esp of a political, military, or social nature
a disastrous flood; deluge
(geology) another name for catastrophe (sense 4)
n.

1630s, from French cataclysme (16c.), from Latin cataclysmos or directly from Greek kataklysmos “deluge, flood, inundation,” from kataklyzein “to deluge,” from kata “down” (see cata-) + klyzein “to wash,” from PIE *kleue- “to wash, clean” (see cloaca).

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  • Cataclysmal

    of, relating to, or resulting from a cataclysm. of the nature of, or having the effect of, a cataclysm: cataclysmic changes. Historical Examples “I’m ———,” said Sir John Gotch, meditating some cataclysmal expletive. The Wonderful Visit Herbert George Wells It is, in fact, nothing but one cataclysmal bang and shriek of shells and shrapnel. A […]

  • Cataclysmic

    of, relating to, or resulting from a cataclysm. of the nature of, or having the effect of, a cataclysm: cataclysmic changes. Contemporary Examples Some writers have greeted the cataclysmic rise of Twitter with alarm. Unconsidered Trifles: Found Comedy in the Age of Social Media Tom Doran March 29, 2013 But compared to U.S. politics, Canadian […]



  • Cataclysmically

    of, relating to, or resulting from a cataclysm. of the nature of, or having the effect of, a cataclysm: cataclysmic changes. adj. 1837, from cataclysm + -ic. Related: Cataclysmical (1857); cataclysmically.

  • Catacomb

    Usually, catacombs. an underground cemetery, especially one consisting of tunnels and rooms with recesses dug out for coffins and tombs. the Catacombs, the subterranean burial chambers of the early Christians in and near Rome, Italy. an underground passageway, especially one full of twists and turns. Historical Examples So thick was this door, so impenetrable, that […]



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