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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Hurricane George was just the latest calamity to hit the state.
▪ Singh told reporters that he had not seen such human suffering in any previous natural calamity.
▪ The flood was a calamity from which Bangladesh has never fully recovered.
▪ At her readers, she throws the challenge of accepting that any friendship could survive those calamities.
▪ Better therefore to try to anticipate such a calamity by assuming the role of an active and vigilant peace-maker.
▪ Financial support in the future should be designed to support farmers when calamities occur, and not to control their lives.
▪ Multiple calamities had come to mind.
▪ No calamity in this house, eh?
▪ Other research demonstrated that should Canterbury Cathedral collapse in some dreadful calamity, it would actually pay the city to rebuild it.
▪ This, he said, although giving temporary surcease was the road to calamity.
▪ Yet just then, amid industrial calamity, Taylor landed his apprenticeship.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Calamity \Ca*lam"i*ty\n.; pl. Calamities. [L. calamitas, akin to in-columis unharmed: cf. F. calamit['e]]

  1. Any great misfortune or cause of misery; -- generally applied to events or disasters which produce extensive evil, either to communities or individuals.

    Note: The word calamity was first derived from calamus when the corn could not get out of the stalk.

    Strokes of calamity that scathe and scorch the soul.
    --W. Irving.

  2. A state or time of distress or misfortune; misery.

    The deliberations of calamity are rarely wise.

    Where'er I came I brought calamity.

    Syn: Disaster; distress; affliction; adversity; misfortune; unhappiness; infelicity; mishap; mischance; misery; evil; extremity; exigency; downfall.

    Usage: Calamity, Disaster, Misfortune, Mishap, Mischance. Of these words, calamity is the strongest. It supposes a somewhat continuous state, produced not usually by the direct agency of man, but by natural causes, such as fire, flood, tempest, disease, etc, Disaster denotes literally ill-starred, and is some unforeseen and distressing event which comes suddenly upon us, as if from hostile planet. Misfortune is often due to no specific cause; it is simply the bad fortune of an individual; a link in the chain of events; an evil independent of his own conduct, and not to be charged as a fault. Mischance and mishap are misfortunes of a trivial nature, occurring usually to individuals. ``A calamity is either public or private, but more frequently the former; a disaster is rather particular than private; it affects things rather than persons; journey, expedition, and military movements are often attended with disasters; misfortunes are usually personal; they immediately affect the interests of the individual.''

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., from Middle French calamite (14c.), from Latin calamitatem (nominative calamitas) "damage, loss, failure; disaster, misfortune, adversity," origin obscure. Early etymologists associated it with calamus "straw" (see shawm); but it is perhaps from a lost root preserved in incolumis "uninjured," from PIE *kle-mo-, from base *kel- (1) "to strike, cut" (see holt).


n. 1 An event resulting in great loss. 2 The distress that results from some disaster.


n. an event resulting in great loss and misfortune; "the whole city was affected by the irremediable calamity"; "the earthquake was a disaster" [syn: catastrophe, disaster, tragedy, cataclysm]


Calamity may refer to:

  • A disaster, a terrible event
  • Al-Qaria (English: The Calamity), the 101st sura of the Qur'an
  • Calamity Jane, a nineteenth-century American frontierwoman
    • Calamity Jane (1953 film), a 1953 film based on the person
  • Calamity James, a British comic book character
  • Calamity King, a fictional character from D.C. comics
  • Calamity (board game), a board game released by Games Workshop in 1983
  • GAT-X131 Calamity Gundam, a fictional weapon from the Gundam series
  • The Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849), also known as "The Great Calamity"
  • Calamity Coyote from Tiny Toon Adventures
  • The Calamity from the Skies, or Jenova, an antagonist from Final Fantasy VII.
  • The event that is the central plot point for the 2011 video game Bastion.
  • The book Calamity, the third book in the Steelheart series by Brandon Sanderson.
Calamity (board game)

Calamity is a board game released by Games Workshop in 1983.

The game was co-designed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, along with Ian Livingstone and Derek Carver, and patterned after the world of high risk insurance. It features a standard Monopoly-style playing track, although players complete the track only once per game.

Calamity (album)

Calamity is the fourth album by California Pop music band The Curtains, released in 2008 on Asthmatic Kitty.

Usage examples of "calamity".

FELLOW-CITIZENS:--When the General Assembly, now about adjourning, assembled in November last, from the bankrupt state of the public treasury, the pecuniary embarrassments prevailing in every department of society, the dilapidated state of the public works, and the impending danger of the degradation of the State, you had a right to expect that your representatives would lose no time in devising and adopting measures to avert threatened calamities, alleviate the distresses of the people, and allay the fearful apprehensions in regard to the future prosperity of the State.

In the second place it marks a step in social progress because when the blame of a death is laid upon a ghost or a spirit instead of on a sorcerer, the death has not to be avenged by killing a human being, the supposed author of the calamity.

God and His devoted servants have raised on the occasion of this terrible adversity, this grievous calamity, has caused the fire of His bereavement to rage more fiercely than ever.

For in this grievous calamity, this distressing bereavement, the best consolation and solace that the spiritual souls could offer is to dedicate themselves to the service of the Cause, to diffuse widely the sweet savours of holiness, to become wanderers in the path of that heavenly Best-Beloved, to let their whole beings burn and melt, and be enkindled with the fire of His love.

The land had been hideously buckled by some ancient calamity, raised into rocky bluffs and windswept ridges, and sunk deep into dry riverbeds, canyons and things deeper than canyons.

Its shape, the way the rock was twisted and buckled, as if by some terrible calamity, was just how he imagined it would be.

I could not understand how I had been so long in rendering them the justice they deserved, but they were the innocent daughters of a noble family, and the lucky chance which had thrown them in my way ought not to prove a calamity for them.

Calamity less than two weeks ago, there had been no crocheted tea cozies in the cell, no ceramic teapot for them to hug, and no tea table for the teapot to rest on.

Universe was created, its laws enacted, and the long succession of its operations pre-ordained, that in the great march of those events, he would suffer pain and undergo calamity.

In case you have not been paying attention, haute cuisine in France is skirting the edge of calamity.

The indolence, perhaps the impotence, of a prince who despised his enemies, and envied his servants, protracted the calamities of Italy.

Judge Black, his intimate friend and eulogist, believed that this appalling calamity wrought Mr.

The ecclesiastics, to whom we are indebted for this vague description of the public calamities, embraced the opportunity of exhorting the Christians to repent of the sins which had provoked the Divine Justice, and to renounce the perishable goods of a wretched and deceitful world.

My desire is to restore them to the blessings of law and liberty, equally enjoyed by every British subject, which they have fatally and desperately exchanged for all the calamities of war, and the arbitrary tyranny of their chiefs.

While the Alemanni appeared to be humbled by their recent calamities, the pride of Valentinian was mortified by the unexpected surprisal of Moguntiacum, or Mentz, the principal city of the Upper Germany.