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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle French desastre, from Italian disastro, from dis- + astro (star), from Latin astrum (star), from Ancient Greek ἄστρον (astron, star), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂stḗr.



disaster (plural disasters)

  1. An unexpected natural or man-made catastrophe of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life or sometimes permanent change to the natural environment.
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28: 
      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.
  2. An unforeseen event causing great loss, upset or unpleasantness of whatever kind.
    • A nod means good, two nods; very good. And then there's the pursing of the lips: disaster.
      The Devil Wears Prada



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