calamity

[kuh-lam-i-tee]
noun, plural calamities.
1.
a great misfortune or disaster, as a flood or serious injury.
2.
grievous affliction; adversity; misery: the calamity of war.

Origin:
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.
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World English Dictionary
calamity (kəˈlæmɪtɪ)
 
n , pl -ties
1.  a disaster or misfortune, esp one causing extreme havoc, distress, or misery
2.  a state or feeling of deep distress or misery
 
[C15: from French calamité, from Latin calamitās; related to Latin incolumis uninjured]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

calamity
early 15c., from M.Fr. calamite (14c.), from L. calamitatem (nom. calamitas) "damage, loss, failure; disaster, misfortune, adversity," origin obscure. L. writers associated it with calamus "straw," but it is perhaps from a lost root preserved in incolumis "uninjured."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Then the clamor subsides and the victims of tragedy are forgotten-until the
  next calamity.
There, especially in the wake of disaster, it often serves as a cruel second
  calamity.
Violently losing four professors and a key staff member from a department of 14
  faculty members was a calamity.
Learn to see in another's calamity the ills which you should avoid.
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