Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: French
Origin: désastre, from Italian disastro, from astro 'star' (from the idea of luck coming from the stars)

disaster

noun
     
di‧sas‧ter S2 W3 [uncountable and countable]
1 a sudden event such as a flood, storm, or accident which causes great damage or suffering [↪ catastrophe]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
air disaster nuclear disaster natural disaster (=caused by nature) ecological/environmental disaster (=one that causes great damage to nature) end in disaster spell disaster (=mean that there will be disaster) disaster strikes (=it happens) on the brink of disaster prevent/avert a disaster something is a disaster waiting to happen
One hundred and twenty people died in China's worst air disaster.
the economic consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
disaster for
The oil spill was a disaster for Alaskan sea animals.
The 1987 hurricane was the worst natural disaster to hit England for decades.
Their expedition nearly ended in disaster, when one of the climbers slid off the mountain.
The drought could spell disaster for wildlife.
Disaster struck when two men were killed during their parachute jumps.
The peace process was on the brink of disaster.
Luckily the pilot saw the other plane just in time, and a disaster was narrowly averted.
2 something that is very bad or a failure, especially when this is very annoying or disappointing
something is a complete/total/disaster
Because of the weather, the parade was a total disaster.
The evening was an unmitigated disaster (=a complete failure).
disaster for
The cuts in funding will be a disaster for the schools.
Five small boys on skis is a recipe for disaster (=is very likely to end badly).
WORD FOCUS: accident WORD FOCUS: accident
similar words: crash, wreck American English, pile-up, collision, disaster, catastrophe


See also
accident

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