- a great misfortune or disaster, as a flood or serious injury.
- grievous affliction; adversity; misery: the calamity of war.
Origin of calamity
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for calamity
Calamity,” Roth writes elsewhere, “when it comes, comes in a rush.American Dreams: How Bush Shaped Our Reading of Roth’s ‘The Plot Against America’
November 23, 2014
Lebanon, always on the edge of (and sometimes past the edge of) calamity, but too complicated for most people to figure out.Is It Just Me or Is the World Exploding? So Why Isn’t Obama Doing More?
July 28, 2014
Batman and Robin was such a calamity that it was easy to reboot.
But their arrival was experienced by Indians, who found their worlds abruptly overturned, as a calamity.India’s Newest State Telangana Is Bosnia Redux
March 22, 2014
Calamity here could also lead to the political demise of a far less secure dictator than Stalin.Putin's Criminal Olympics
January 27, 2014
Oh, Colonel, help me to guard against so dreadful a calamity.
Decidedly, Dick had been a godsend, and his absence would be a calamity.Viviette
William J. Locke
Three things have happened, either one of which would alone have been a calamity.The Bacillus of Beauty
Doubtless posterity has acquired a better city by the calamity of that generation.Old News
What horrible thing, what calamity that frightened my soul to think of, had fallen on me?Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
- a disaster or misfortune, esp one causing extreme havoc, distress, or misery
- a state or feeling of deep distress or misery
Word Origin and History for calamity
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- "to strike, cut" (see hilt).