The Japan Earthquake of 2011 is an example of a catastrophe.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is an example of a catastrophe.
The food was cold, the guests quarreled—the whole dinner was a catastrophe.
Other Word Forms
Origin of catastrophe
- Greek katastrophē an overturning, ruin, conclusion from katastrephein to ruin, undo kata- cata- strephein to turn streb(h)- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Ancient Greek καταστροφή (katastrophē), from καταστρέφω (katastrephō, “I overturn”), from κατά (kata, “down, against”) + στρέφω (strephō, “I turn”)