Etymology
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catastrophe (n.)

1530s, "reversal of what is expected" (especially a fatal turning point in a drama, the winding up of the plot), from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophe "an overturning; a sudden end," from katastrephein "to overturn, turn down, trample on; to come to an end," from kata "down" (see cata-) + strephein "turn" (from PIE root *streb(h)- "to wind, turn"). Extension to "sudden disaster" is first recorded 1748.

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Definitions of catastrophe

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