[ dey-bah-kuhl, -bak-uhl, duh- ]
/ deɪˈbɑ kəl, -ˈbæk əl, də- /


a general breakup or dispersion; sudden downfall or rout: The revolution ended in a debacle.
a complete collapse or failure.
a breaking up of ice in a river.Compare embacle.
a violent rush of waters or ice.

Words nearby debacle

Origin of debacle

1795–1805; < French débâcle, derivative of débâcler to unbar, clear, equivalent to dé- dis-1 + bâcler to bar ≪ Latin baculum stick, rod Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for debacle

British Dictionary definitions for debacle

/ (deɪˈbɑːkəl, dɪ-) /


a sudden disastrous collapse or defeat, esp one involving a disorderly retreat; rout
the breaking up of ice in a river during spring or summer, often causing flooding
a violent rush of water carrying along debris

Word Origin for debacle

C19: from French débâcle, from Old French desbacler to unbolt, ultimately from Latin baculum rod, staff
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