The definition of a cataclysm is a catastrophe or a large-scale and often violent event that causes change or upheaval.noun
- A devastating and destructive tsunami is an example of a cataclysm.
- A violent political uprising that leads to a new leader coming into power is an example of a cataclysm.
- a great flood; deluge
- any great upheaval, as an earthquake or a war, that causes sudden and violent changes, great destruction, etc.
Origin: L cataclysmos < Gr kataklysmos < kataklyzein < kata-, down + klyzein, to wash: for IE base see cloaca
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A violent upheaval that causes great destruction or brings about a fundamental change.
- A violent and sudden change in the earth's crust.
- A devastating flood.
Origin: French cataclysme, from Latin cataclysmos, deluge, from Greek kataklusmos, from katakluzein, to inundate : kata-, intensive pref.; see cata- + kluzein, to wash away.
- catˌa·clysˈmic , catˌa·clysˈmal adjective
- catˌa·clysˈmi·cal·ly adverb