state of emergency

[ steytuhv i-mur-juhn-see ]
/ ˈsteɪt əv ɪˈmɜr dʒən si /

noun

a situation of urgent need for help and relief, brought about by a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other crisis, especially as declared by a governor, president, mayor, or other official: As devastation from last night’s tornadoes continues to be assessed, the governor has declared a state of emergency in the three worst-hit counties.

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Origin of state of emergency

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020