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[kat-uh-strof-ik] /ˌkæt əˈstrɒf ɪk/
of the nature of a catastrophe, or disastrous event; calamitous:
a catastrophic failure of the dam.
Sometimes, catastrophical, catastrophal [kuh-tas-truh-fuh l] /kəˈtæs trə fəl/ (Show IPA).
Related forms
catastrophically, adverb
noncatastrophic, adjective
noncatastrophically, adverb
supercatastrophic, adjective
uncatastrophic, adjective
uncatastrophically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for catastrophic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hers was the most complete loneliness, charged with a catastrophic tension.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • The result was just as instantaneous and just as catastrophic as Garlock had expected.

    The Galaxy Primes Edward Elmer Smith
  • Almost all social prediction is catastrophic and absurdly simplified.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
  • The "love of women" has always about it something tragic and catastrophic.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
  • To Louise, the loss of her holy place, but yet more the manner of its loss, was catastrophic.

    Regiment of Women Clemence Dane
Word Origin and History for catastrophic

1824, from catastrophe + -ic. Related: Catastrophical; catastrophically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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