Definition of cataclysmic in US English:

cataclysmic

adjective

  • 1Relating to or denoting a violent natural event.

    • ‘Despite the world's brightest researchers, the latest GPS technology and powerful computer models, scientists cannot reliably forecast the cataclysmic geological events.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It explores the environmental, political, economic and social impact of such a cataclysmic event.’
    • ‘The cataclysmic event may have caused widespread extinction of the dinosaurs and three-fourths of Earth's living organisms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A cataclysmic event during this period detached most of the crystal groups from the cavern walls and ceiling.’
    • ‘This is actually a series of papyri, which describe various cataclysmic events in Egypt - blood everywhere, people dying etc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And all of them blissfully unaware that the cataclysmic events of the next ten years will change the world as they know it.’
    • ‘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.’
    disastrous, catastrophic, calamitous, tragic, devastating, ruinous, terrible, violent, awful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Used to emphasize the extent of something bad or unwelcome.
      ‘the concert was a cataclysmic failure’
      • ‘Others have experienced in their lives some sort of cataclysmic event, and now they make lots of money telling everyone else about it.’
      • ‘As she notes in her essay, individuals and groups generally draw on familiar ‘frames of acceptance’ in grappling with traumatic or cataclysmic events.’
      • ‘Anyone who watches such cataclysmic events unfold can somehow claim them as their own.’

Pronunciation

cataclysmic

/ˌkædəˈklɪzmɪk//ˌkadəˈklizmik/