Catastrophical



a sudden and widespread disaster:
the catastrophe of war.
any misfortune, mishap, or failure; fiasco:
The play was so poor our whole evening was a catastrophe.
a final event or conclusion, usually an unfortunate one; a disastrous end:
the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox.
(in a drama) the point at which the circumstances overcome the central motive, introducing the close or conclusion; dénouement.
Compare catastasis, epitasis, protasis.
Geology. a sudden, violent disturbance, especially of a part of the surface of the earth; cataclysm.
Also called catastrophe function. Mathematics. any of the mathematical functions that describe the discontinuities that are treated in catastrophe theory.
of the nature of a catastrophe, or disastrous event; calamitous:
a catastrophic failure of the dam.
Historical Examples

At seventeen such things are not embarrassing; they are catastrophical.
Seventeen Booth Tarkington

noun
a sudden, extensive, or notable disaster or misfortune
the denouement of a play, esp a classical tragedy
a final decisive event, usually causing a disastrous end
Also called cataclysm. any sudden and violent change in the earth’s surface caused by flooding, earthquake, or some other rapid process
adj.

1824, from catastrophe + -ic. Related: Catastrophical; catastrophically.
n.

1530s, “reversal of what is expected” (especially a fatal turning point in a drama), from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophe “an overturning; a sudden end,” from katastrephein “to overturn, turn down, trample on; to come to an end,” from kata “down” (see cata-) + strephein “turn” (see strophe). Extension to “sudden disaster” is first recorded 1748.

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  • Catastrophically

    of the nature of a catastrophe, or disastrous event; calamitous: a catastrophic failure of the dam. Contemporary Examples The Thunder have now punished themselves with two catastrophically dunderheaded late-game fouls in two games. Miami Heat’s Victory Over OKC Thunder in Game 4 Signals Shorter Series Jesse Singal June 19, 2012 Flo was not just mediocre: […]

  • Catastrophism

    the doctrine that certain vast geological changes in the earth’s history were caused by catastrophes rather than gradual evolutionary processes. Historical Examples catastrophism and uniformitarianism are opposite extremes which must be combined and reconciled. Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, February 1900 Various catastrophism, a short-sighted teleology, and a still more short-sighted orthodoxy, joined forces to crush […]



  • Catastrophist

    the doctrine that certain vast geological changes in the earth’s history were caused by catastrophes rather than gradual evolutionary processes. Contemporary Examples He appears to have a catastrophist vision of Zionism and of Jewish life. What Will Change Daniel Levy May 8, 2012 Will the catastrophist diehards learn to stop worrying and accept the recovery? […]

  • Catastrophize

    to view or talk about (an event or situation) as worse than it actually is, or as if it were a catastrophe: Stop catastrophizing and get on with your life! She tends to catastrophize her symptoms.



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