calamity

Use the word calamity to describe an event that causes great harm and misery, or a general state of distress or misery: the calamity of war.

Near synonyms are catastrophe and disaster. The noun calamity is from Middle English calamytey, from Latin calamitas, a word which might be related to Latin clades "destruction." Calamity Jane was the nickname of a 19th-century woman living on the U.S. frontier. She claimed to have some very exciting adventures.

Definitions of calamity
  1. noun
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
    “the whole city was affected by the irremediable calamity
    synonyms: cataclysm, catastrophe, disaster, tragedy
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    act of God, force majeure, inevitable accident, unavoidable casualty, vis major
    a natural and unavoidable catastrophe that interrupts the expected course of events
    apocalypse
    a cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil
    famine
    a severe shortage of food (as through crop failure) resulting in violent hunger and starvation and death
    kiss of death
    something that is ruinous
    meltdown
    a disaster comparable to a nuclear meltdown
    plague
    any large scale calamity (especially when thought to be sent by God)
    visitation
    any disaster or catastrophe
    tidal wave
    an unusual (and often destructive) rise of water along the seashore caused by a storm or a combination of wind and high tide
    tsunami
    a cataclysm resulting from a destructive sea wave caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption
    the Great Calamity, the Great Hunger, the Great Starvation, the Irish Famine
    a famine in Ireland resulting from a potato blight; between 1846 and 1851 a million people starved to death and 1.6 million emigrated (most to America)
    type of:
    bad luck, misfortune
    unnecessary and unforeseen trouble resulting from an unfortunate event
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