Calamity

September 19, 2022

Calamity / noun / ca·​lam·​i·​ty

A calamity is a major misfortune or disaster accompanied by devastating effects, like property damage, loss of life, homelessness, or financial ruin.

We use the word calamity as a noun to describe these unexpected and catastrophic events. Most people dread being part of a calamity because of the "deep distress" or misery they cause, and they do everything within their power to avoid them. Nevertheless, the experience of a calamity is one of the worst things that can happen in someone's life.

In a Sentence

The family suffered a severe financial loss because of the calamity that changed their lives last year.

The television meteorologist told the public that the category five hurricane would cause a calamity based on the damage it had already caused when it passed over the chain of islands.

His life seemed to involve one calamity after the other.

Etymology

English speakers originally used calamity to represent chaos, destruction, and disaster in the 15th century. We derived the word from Middle Eastern and Latin words. The original Middle Eastern word for calamity, calamitas, and the Latin word clades both represent sudden events of destruction or catastrophes. We still use it today to describe traumatic and disastrous events that cause catastrophic damage and emotional suffering.

Synonym

Disaster, Catastrophe

Antonym

Calm, Peace

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