Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “cataclysm”

cataclysm

noun [C] uk   /ˈkæt.ə.klɪ.zəm/ us    /ˈkæt̬-/ literary
an event that causes a lot of destruction, or a sudden violent changeAccidents and disastersDifficult situations and unpleasant experiencesFailures
cataclysmic
adjective uk   /ˌkæt.əˈklɪz.mɪk/ us    /ˌkæt̬-/
These countries are on the brink of cataclysmic famine.Accidents and disastersDifficult situations and unpleasant experiencesFailures
(Definition of cataclysm from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cataclysm?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Accidents and disasters, but you might be interested in these topics from the Happenings and events topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “cataclysm” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

aptitude

a natural ability or skill

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More