W3S2 [dıˈza:stə US dıˈzæstər] n [U and C]
[Date: 1500-1600; : French; Origin: désastre, from Italian disastro, from astro 'star' (from the idea of luck coming from the stars)]
1.) a sudden event such as a flood, storm, or accident which causes great damage or suffering
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
sth 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) .
COLLOCATES for sense 1
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

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Disaster — Dis*as ter, n. [F. d[ e]sastre; pref. d[ e]s (L. dis ) + astre star, fr. L. astrum; a word of astrological origin. See {Aster}, {Astral}, {Star}.] 1. An unpropitious or baleful aspect of a planet or star; malevolent influence of a heavenly body;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disaster — I noun adversity, affliction, bale, bane, blight, blunder, breakdown, brutum fulmen, calamitas, calamity, casualty, cataclysm, catastrophe, clades, collapse, contretemps, crushing reverse, deabacle, devastation, downfall, emergency, extremity,… …   Law dictionary

  • disaster — [di zas′tər, dizäs′tər; ] also [ dis as′tər, disäs′tər] n. [OFr desastre < It disastro < L dis + astrum < Gr astron (see ASTRAL), star: from astrological notions: cf. ILL STARRED] any happening that causes great harm or damage; serious… …   English World dictionary

  • Disaster — Dis*as ter, v. t. 1. To blast by the influence of a baleful star. [Obs.] Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster] 2. To bring harm upon; to injure. [R.] Thomson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disaster — 1590s, from M.Fr. désastre (1560s), from It. disastro ill starred, from dis , here merely pejorative (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + astro star, planet, from L. astrum, from Gk. astron (see STAR (Cf. star)). The sense is astrological, of a calamity blamed …   Etymology dictionary

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  • disaster — ► NOUN 1) a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life. 2) an event or fact leading to ruin or failure. ORIGIN Italian disastro ill starred event , from Latin astrum star …   English terms dictionary

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