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 calamity
  • 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.
  • This city has been shaken by a calamity unparalleled in its history.
  • By this appallling calamity, men of energy and influence are reduced to poverty.
  • One of the most important effects of any sudden calamity is to create a temporary vacuum of personal information and direction.
  • Such "sloppy writing" is the real calamity in my book.
  • Picasso forces us to experience the calamity where it mattered most — at close quarters, and in the violated shelter of the home.
  • To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it.
British Dictionary definitions for calamity


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 calamity

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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