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catastrophe (n.)

1530年代, “事与愿违” (尤其是戏剧中的致命转折点, 情节的收尾), 来自拉丁文 catastropha, 源于希腊文 katastrophe “翻转; 突然结束”, 来自 katastrephein “翻转, 翻倒, 践踏; 结束”, 来自 kata “翻倒” (见 cata-) + strephein “翻转” (来自PIE词根 *streb(h) - “缠绕, 转折” ). 延伸到“突发灾难” 最早记载于1748年.

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Definitions of catastrophe from WordNet

catastrophe (n.)
an event resulting in great loss and misfortune;
catastrophe (n.)
a state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune;
lack of funds has resulted in a catastrophe for our school system
Synonyms: disaster
catastrophe (n.)
a sudden violent change in the earth's surface;
Synonyms: cataclysm
From wordnet.princeton.edu