Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "calamity" []

  • An event that brings terrible loss, lasting distress, or severe affliction; a disaster: A hurricane would be a calamity for this low-lying coastal region. (noun)
  • Dire distress resulting from loss or tragedy. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "calamity" in a sentence
  • "Happening now, Robert Gates officially taking charge of the Pentagon and the troubled war in Iraq with a swearing in ceremony -- he's warning that failure in Iraq would be what he called a calamity that would haunt the U.S. -- his words -- for decades."
  • "A few pale figures were to be distinguished at the accustomed resort at the Tuileries; they wondered wherefore the islanders should approach their ill-fated city -- for in the excess of wretchedness, the sufferers always imagine, that their part of the calamity is the bitterest, as, when enduring intense pain, we would exchange the particular torture we writhe under, for any other which should visit a different part of the frame."
  • "This calamity is the more heavy, as it carries with it a great disappointment; for very near our habitation was a high wall, the sunny side of which was covered with the most delicious fruits; peaches, apricots, nectarines, &c. all just then ripening; and I thought of having such a feast with my children as I had never enjoyed in my life."