- 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 for calamity on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for calamities
But now, to that list of calamities to learn from, we need to add “mass extinctions.”Heed the Warnings: Why We’re on the Brink of Mass Extinction
Sean B. Carroll
November 30, 2014
But then, through a series of calamities typical of The Comeback, she ends up auditioning for the show…and gets the part.How Lisa Kudrow Pulled Off TV’s Ultimate ‘Comeback’
November 6, 2014
Maybe there's a route, somewhere in there, towards an end to calamities on July 16.India’s Most Dangerous Meal: The Poisoned-Lunch Disaster
July 18, 2013
It was about the passive indifference of a nation that seems content to allow these daily calamities to persist.Zimmerman Walks Free, Black America Seethes
July 14, 2013
Then there will be earthquakes, tsunamis, and other calamities.China’s Doomsday Crackdown
December 18, 2012
All their calamities, except the plague, were the foreseen results of their own decision.
Others have been saved before now from calamities yet deeper than ours.
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.The Devil's Dictionary
Our forefathers had their own ways of accounting for each of these calamities.On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge
Thomas H. Huxley
The calamities that lie in ambush for us are ever present to our thoughts.Sir Jasper Carew
Charles James Lever
- 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 calamities
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).