disaster Definition

  • 1a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life
  • 2a complete failure, especially one that causes great harm or damage

Using disaster: Examples

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

  • Example

    The earthquake was a major disaster, causing widespread destruction and loss of life.

  • Example

    The company's new product launch was a complete disaster, resulting in huge financial losses.

  • Example

    The hurricane was predicted to be a disaster, but fortunately, it weakened before making landfall.

  • Example

    The oil spill was an environmental disaster, causing long-term damage to the ecosystem.

disaster Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for disaster

Antonyms for disaster

Idioms Using disaster

  • to deteriorate or become increasingly negative or unfavorable


    After the initial earthquake, things went from bad to worse when a tsunami hit the coast.

  • a period of peace or tranquility before a difficult or turbulent period


    The day before the big exam was the calm before the storm, as everyone was studying and preparing for the test.

  • to take a risk without considering the potential consequences


    He threw caution to the wind and quit his job without having another one lined up.

Phrases with disaster

  • an event caused by natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, that results in significant damage or loss of life


    The government has implemented measures to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

  • man-made disaster

    an event caused by human activity, such as industrial accidents, nuclear meltdowns, or terrorist attacks, that results in significant damage or loss of life


    The Chernobyl disaster was a man-made disaster caused by a nuclear reactor meltdown.

  • a situation that is likely to end badly or result in a catastrophe


    The old bridge was in such bad condition that it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Origins of disaster

from Italian 'disastro', from 'dis-' (expressing negation) + 'astro' (star), meaning 'ill-starred'


Summary: disaster in Brief

The term 'disaster' [dɪˈzæstər] refers to sudden events that cause great damage or loss of life, such as natural catastrophes or accidents. It can also refer to complete failures that cause harm or damage, like a product launch or oil spill. Common phrases include 'natural disaster,' 'man-made disaster,' and 'a disaster waiting to happen.' Idioms like 'go from bad to worse' and 'throw caution to the wind' describe worsening situations and risky behavior, respectively.

How do native speakers use this expression?