of the nature of a catastrophe, or disastrous event; calamitous: a catastrophic failure of the dam.

Sometimes cat·a·stroph·i·cal, ca·tas·tro·phal [kuh-tas-truh-fuh l] /kəˈtæs trə fəl/.
Related formscat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·cat·a·stroph·ic, adjectivenon·cat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·cat·a·stroph·ic, adjectiveun·cat·a·stroph·ic, adjectiveun·cat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for catastrophic

calamitous, cataclysmic, disastrous, tragic, ruinous, fatal, cataclysmal

Examples from the Web for catastrophic

Contemporary Examples of catastrophic

Historical Examples of catastrophic

  • 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