9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh-lam-i-tee] /kəˈlæm ɪ ti/
noun, plural calamities.
a great misfortune or disaster, as a flood or serious injury.
grievous affliction; adversity; misery:
the calamity of war.
Origin of calamity
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English calamite < Middle French < Latin calamitāt- (stem of calamitās), perhaps akin to incolumitās safety
1. reverse, blow, catastrophe, cataclysm; mischance, mishap. See disaster. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for calamities
  • New parties often used angry rhetoric to stir up the sufferers from previous calamities.
  • It is her vigilance that has prevented a number of potential fiscal calamities.
  • So-called calamities or tragedies happen not to test the victims, but to test the rest of us.
  • Amid these calamities, however, a number of noteworthy achievements unfolded.
  • Yes, many of them might have befallen great personal and financial calamities.
  • It wouldn't take long for other economic and social calamities to follow.
  • There is no cost effective way to prevent earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural calamities.
  • For thousands of years, people have struggled to survive the devastating power of savage natural calamities.
  • Avoid camera calamities and pack extra batteries in addition to extra memory cards or film.
  • Exaggeration was the principal element, used best in calamities.
British Dictionary definitions for calamities


noun (pl) -ties
a disaster or misfortune, esp one causing extreme havoc, distress, or misery
a state or feeling of deep distress or misery
Word Origin
C15: from French calamité, from Latin calamitās; related to Latin incolumis uninjured
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for calamities



early 15c., from Middle French calamite (14c.), from Latin calamitatem (nominative calamitas) "damage, loss, failure; disaster, misfortune, adversity," origin obscure. Early etymologists associated it with calamus "straw" (see shawm); but it is perhaps from a lost root preserved in incolumis "uninjured," from PIE *kle-mo-, from base *kel- "to strike, cut" (see hilt).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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