catastrophe Definition

  • 1an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster
  • 2a complete failure; a fiasco

Using catastrophe: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "catastrophe" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The earthquake was a catastrophe for the city.

  • Example

    The company's financial losses were a catastrophe for its investors.

  • Example

    The play was a catastrophe and closed after only one night.

  • Example

    The hurricane caused a catastrophe in the coastal town.

catastrophe Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for catastrophe

Antonyms for catastrophe

Idioms Using catastrophe

  • a situation or course of action that is likely to lead to disaster


    Ignoring safety protocols is a recipe for catastrophe in any workplace.

  • a disaster that was prevented from happening


    The evacuation of the building averted a catastrophe when the fire broke out.

  • to invite disaster through reckless behavior or decision-making


    If the company continues to ignore safety regulations, it will court catastrophe.

Phrases with catastrophe

  • a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, or flood


    The country is still recovering from the natural catastrophe that struck last year.

  • man-made catastrophe

    a disaster caused by human activity, such as an industrial accident or war


    The oil spill was a man-made catastrophe that had a devastating impact on the environment.

  • to prevent a disaster from happening


    The quick response of the emergency services helped avert a catastrophe.

Origins of catastrophe

from Greek 'katastrophē', meaning 'overturning'


Summary: catastrophe in Brief

The term 'catastrophe' [kəˈtæstrəfi] refers to events that cause great damage or suffering, or complete failures. Catastrophes can be natural or man-made, such as 'The earthquake was a catastrophe for the city.' Phrases like 'a recipe for catastrophe' denote situations likely to lead to disaster, while 'averted catastrophe' refers to disasters that were prevented from happening.

How do native speakers use this expression?