doomsday event

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doomsday event (plural doomsday events)

  1. (cosmology, astronomy) An occurrence which causes the end of the universe or which destroys the planet earth; a global cataclysm.
    • 1995, Malcolm W. Browne, "A Research Team Detects Many More Galaxies," New York Times, 7 Apr. (retrieved 5 July 2008):
      The universe will contract and grow hotter until the doomsday event that astronomers have dubbed "the big crunch."
    • 2006, Ruben Curbelo et al., "Interacting phantom energy and avoidance of the big rip singularity," Classical and Quantum Gravity, vol. 23, no. 5, p. 1591:
      In this subsection we face the question about the possibility of evading the doomsday event in phantom models of dark energy with interaction, which are inspired in scalar-tensor theories of gravity.
    • 2008, "World to end in August (maybe)," New Zealand Herald, 2 Jul. (retrieved 5 July 2008):
      Sceptics claim switching on the supercooled magnets could create a doomsday event that would destroy the Earth.
  2. A localized event causing widespread death or destruction within a specific geographical area.
    • 2006, Greg Hollingshead, "Let Pynchon be Pynchon" (review of Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon), Globe and Mail (Toronto), 2 Dec., p. D6:
      A mysterious occurrence late in the story is the historically factual Tunguska Event, a massive Siberian explosion, probably by an asteroid, in the summer of 1908: a doomsday event caused by an arrival from another realm.
    • 2007, Glen Warchol, "Earthquake-proof: Capitol is ready for a rumble," The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 May:
      An earthquake of as much as 7.3 magnitude . . . is the maximum predicted earthquake in Utah, said Johnson. "We could call that a doomsday event."
  3. (figuratively) A disastrous occurrence.
    • 1973, Joseph Church, Understanding Your Child from Birth to Three, →ISBN, page 175:
      Protect them against molestation, but if it happens, don't overact and inflate it into a doomsday event.
    • 1986, "Editorial: The flight that failed," The Nation, 8 Feb., p. 1:
      The Challenger explosion . . . became one big symbol for mankind. As the trauma diminishes in the weeks ahead, another meaning will emerge from the doomsday events.
    • 1998, "The Year of Living Carefully: Challenges ahead for China in 1999," Business Week, 28 Dec., p. 30:
      A record level of foreign reserves has made it unnecessary to devalue the currency—the doomsday event that terrifies finance ministries throughout the region.
    • 2007, Andy Nelesen, "Threat leads to security checks at Pulaski High School," Green Bay Press Gazette, 22 May:
      "You just don't know if they are planning a doomsday event or not." Dunford said police worked with school officials to secure the building.

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