- The definition of a catastrophe is a large, often sudden, disaster or ending.
- The Japan Earthquake of 2011 is an example of a catastrophe.
- The story of Romeo and Juliet is an example of a catastrophe.
This flood is a catastrophe.
catastrophe definition by Webster's New World
- the culminating event of a drama, esp. of a tragedy, by which the plot is resolved; denouement
- a disastrous end, bringing overthrow or ruin
- any great and sudden calamity, disaster, or misfortune
- a total or ignominious failure
- Geol. a sudden, violent change, such as an earthquake
Origin: Classical Latin catastropha ; from Classical Greek katastrophē, an overthrowing ; from katastrephein, to overturn ; from kata-, down plush strephein, to turn: see strophe
catastrophe definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A great, often sudden calamity.
- A complete failure; a fiasco: The food was cold, the guests quarreled—the whole dinner was a catastrophe.
- The concluding action of a drama, especially a classical tragedy, following the climax and containing a resolution of the plot.
- A sudden violent change in the earth's surface; a cataclysm.
Origin: Greek katastrophē, an overturning, ruin, conclusion, from katastrephein, to ruin, undo : kata-, cata- + strephein, to turn; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots.