• synonyms

catastrophe theory

noun Mathematics.
  1. a theory, based on topology, for studying discontinuous processes and the mathematical models that describe them.
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Origin of catastrophe theory

First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for catastrophe theory

catastrophe theory

    1. a mathematical theory that classifies surfaces according to their form
    2. the popular application of this theory to the explanation of abruptly changing phenomena, as by the discontinuity of a line on the topmost fold of a folded surface
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012