Definition of cataclysmic in English:

cataclysmic

adjective

  • 1(of a natural event) large-scale and violent.

    ‘a cataclysmic earthquake’
    • ‘Despite the world's brightest researchers, the latest GPS technology and powerful computer models, scientists cannot reliably forecast the cataclysmic geological events.’
    • ‘The cataclysmic event, which occurred last year on Jupiter's moon Io, ranks as the most powerful volcanic eruption ever recorded in the solar system.’
    • ‘Paleontologists recognize five cataclysmic episodes in Earth's history, times when 50 to 95 percent of existing species abruptly vanished.’
    • ‘It explores the environmental, political, economic and social impact of such a cataclysmic event.’
    • ‘Eventually the entire surface founders in a cataclysmic event, leading to volcanic resurfacing on a global scale, followed by tectonic deformation of some areas as the new surface settles down.’
    • ‘This is actually a series of papyri, which describe various cataclysmic events in Egypt - blood everywhere, people dying etc.’
    • ‘The question of how stars die is currently a major focus of stellar research, and is particularly directed toward the energetic explosions that destroy a star in one cataclysmic event.’
    • ‘The cataclysmic event may have caused widespread extinction of the dinosaurs and three-fourths of Earth's living organisms.’
    • ‘And if you don't pay attention to the alarm sounded by the loss of a species then you run the risk of major, cataclysmic upheaval and suffering in the future.’
    • ‘And all of them blissfully unaware that the cataclysmic events of the next ten years will change the world as they know it.’
    • ‘For instance, under the old paradigm, fire was considered a foe, a cataclysmic event not part of how nature works and therefore unnatural; consequently, forest managers responded with a policy of fire prevention.’
    • ‘A cataclysmic event during this period detached most of the crystal groups from the cavern walls and ceiling.’
    disastrous, catastrophic, calamitous, tragic, devastating, ruinous, terrible, violent, awful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Causing sudden and violent upheaval.
      ‘a novel about a cataclysmic world war’
      • ‘For this date follows closely on one of the periods of cataclysmic events recorded in the northern hemisphere, a period of cultural collapse recorded from the Mediterranean to China, a period of massive migrations of people.’
      • ‘Twentieth century's final years witnessed some cataclysmic events unprecedented in history.’
      • ‘Our foreparents lived through sea changes, upheavals so cataclysmic, so devastating we may never appreciate the fortitude and resilience required to survive them.’
      • ‘The Depression was a cataclysmic event that did much to erode confidence in the middle class's dream of racial advancement through economic self-help.’
      • ‘I believe, however, that ethnic cleansing is a useful and viable term for understanding not just the war in the former Yugoslavia but other similar cataclysmic events in the course of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, his death triggered events which led to cataclysmic changes at every level of society, and in almost every country on earth.’
      • ‘Their claim to fame is nothing more than having been ordinary people bound up in the two cataclysmic events of the twentieth century - WWI and WWII.’
      • ‘What happened on December 6, 1992 was not a breakdown of law and order; what happened was a cataclysmic event which was an outpouring of the anger of five centuries that nobody could have stopped.’
      • ‘A cataclysmic upheaval was experienced by the other princely families when the privy purses were abolished in 1971.’
      • ‘When Marx and Engels turned their attention to the cataclysmic upheaval in India, they saw it in relation to similar developments taking place in other parts of the world.’
      • ‘Did you ever think in all your life, David, that in your lifetime the most cataclysmic event in the history of this country would happen and you would see it?’
      disastrous, catastrophic, devastating, dire, tragic, fatal, ruinous, crippling, awful, dreadful, terrible, woeful, grievous
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal Used to emphasize the extent of something bad or unwelcome.
      ‘the concert was a cataclysmic failure’
      • ‘Anyone who watches such cataclysmic events unfold can somehow claim them as their own.’
      • ‘As she notes in her essay, individuals and groups generally draw on familiar ‘frames of acceptance’ in grappling with traumatic or cataclysmic events.’
      • ‘Others have experienced in their lives some sort of cataclysmic event, and now they make lots of money telling everyone else about it.’

Pronunciation

cataclysmic

/katəˈklɪzmɪk/