Definition of calamity in US English:

calamity

noun

  • An event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.

    ‘the journey had led to calamity and ruin’
    ‘the fire was the latest calamity to strike the area’
    • ‘Whenever any calamity, disaster or accident occurs, their team arrives there as volunteers for relief work.’
    • ‘The areas that were most damaged by the calamity is certainly back on its feet.’
    • ‘The liberation brought fresh calamity and distress for those Jews who had survived the Holocaust.’
    • ‘Nearly every calamity and malady known to humankind has a saint to look after it.’
    • ‘Plan for stress, say the experts, just like you plan ahead for any calamity you want to avoid.’
    • ‘Speaking of the next step, for families who have lost someone in this calamity, what's the next step for them?’
    • ‘In the face of this calamity, the puzzle remains why so many settlers moved to a place that turned out to be so inhospitable.’
    • ‘There were those indeed who believed this calamity marked the end of the world.’
    • ‘It wasn't long before an even greater calamity than sea sickness set upon them.’
    • ‘What new calamity could be taking shape in the odd disasters of recent weeks?’
    • ‘It has shown its capacity to plan ahead and be ever ready for any calamity or disaster that may beset the country.’
    • ‘Earth was among the many planets destroyed in this calamity, and many humans were lost also.’
    • ‘Before the oil well calamity, villagers there led a peaceful life, getting along with each other in harmony.’
    • ‘After unloading, I decided it would be prudent to park in the lot rather than risk further calamity.’
    • ‘To the extent that the pessimism is based on fears of an election day terrorist calamity, it's hard to argue with.’
    • ‘The worst economic calamity to befall a family, and especially women and children, is divorce.’
    • ‘Yes, this country could be devastated by terrorism, or a meteor strike, or some economic calamity.’
    • ‘Which devastating calamity is to come our way, hyperinflation or collapsing deflation?’
    • ‘One morning's natural calamity has delivered tens of thousands of new victims.’
    • ‘The skipper was experienced and had faced worse seas before and so sudden was the calamity which overwhelmed him that he was unable to send out a Mayday call.’
    disaster, catastrophe, tragedy, cataclysm, devastating blow, crisis, adversity, blight, tribulation, woe, affliction, evil
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘disaster and distress’): from Old French calamite, from Latin calamitas.

Pronunciation

calamity

/kəˈlamədē//kəˈlæmədi/