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Meaning of Catastrphe

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  • Any enormous and disastrous event of great significance.
  • A disaster beyond expectations (insurance industry)
  • In ancient Greek tragedies, the solution of the plot.
  • A social change of an outstanding radical and rapid character, with highly magical explanations by victims and others (sociology)
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

Ca*tas"tro*phe (?), n. [L. catastropha, Gr. &?;, fr. &?; to turn up and down, to overturn; kata` down + &?; to turn.] 1. An event producing a subversion of the order or system of things; a final event, usually of a calamitous or disastrous nature; hence, sudden calamity; great misfortune.

The strange catastrophe of affairs now at London.
Bp. Burnet.

The most horrible and portentous catastrophe that nature ever yet saw.

2. The final event in a romance or a dramatic piece; a denouement, as a death in a tragedy, or a marriage in a comedy.

3. (Geol.) A violent and widely extended change in the surface of the earth, as, an elevation or subsidence of some part of it, effected by internal causes. Whewell.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Catastrophe

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