or cat·a·clys·mal



of, relating to, or resulting from a cataclysm.
of the nature of, or having the effect of, a cataclysm: cataclysmic changes.

Origin of cataclysmic

First recorded in 1850–55; cataclysm + -ic
Related formscat·a·clys·mi·cal·ly, adverbnon·cat·a·clys·mal, adjectivenon·cat·a·clys·mic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cataclysmal

Historical Examples of cataclysmal

  • "I'm ———," said Sir John Gotch, meditating some cataclysmal expletive.

    The Wonderful Visit

    Herbert George Wells

  • Lyall in England had shown that geological formations were evolutionary rather than cataclysmal.

    Browning and His Century

    Helen Archibald Clarke

  • It is, in fact, nothing but one cataclysmal bang and shriek of shells and shrapnel.

  • Ten seconds later this cataclysmal lunatic had reverted to sanity—a rather sheepish sanity.

  • Very rarely is there a spate, an upheaval, and a cataclysmal sweep that bursts the ice and ends its reign in an hour or two.

    Rolf In The Woods

    Ernest Thompson Seton

Word Origin and History for cataclysmal



1837, from cataclysm + -ic. Related: Cataclysmical (1857); cataclysmically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper