- a breaking up of ice in a river, etc.
- a rush of debris-filled waters
- an overwhelming defeat or rout
- a total, often ludicrous, collapse or failure
Origin of debacleFrench débâcle, breakup, overthrow from débâcler, to break up from dé-, de-, + bâcler, to bar, probably from Vulgar Latin an unverified form bacculare from an unverified form bacculum, variant, variety of Classical Latin baculum, staff: see bacillus