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or cataclysmal

[kat-uh-kliz-mik] /ˌkæt əˈklɪz mɪk/
of, relating to, or resulting from a cataclysm.
of the nature of, or having the effect of, a cataclysm:
cataclysmic changes.
Origin of cataclysmic
1850-55; cataclysm + -ic
Related forms
cataclysmically, adverb
noncataclysmal, adjective
noncataclysmic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cataclysmal
Historical Examples
  • "I'm ———," said Sir John Gotch, meditating some cataclysmal expletive.

    The Wonderful Visit Herbert George Wells
  • It is, in fact, nothing but one cataclysmal bang and shriek of shells and shrapnel.

  • Ten seconds later this cataclysmal lunatic had reverted to sanity—a rather sheepish sanity.

  • So the worship which many render to the unexplained, the fantastic, the cataclysmal—this is the awe that is born of ignorance.

    The Story of the Mind James Mark Baldwin
  • Lyall in England had shown that geological formations were evolutionary rather than cataclysmal.

    Browning and His Century Helen Archibald Clarke
  • Very rarely is there a spate, an upheaval, and a cataclysmal sweep that bursts the ice and ends its reign in an hour or two.

    Rolf In The Woods Ernest Thompson Seton
Word Origin and History for cataclysmal



1837, from cataclysm + -ic. Related: Cataclysmical (1857); cataclysmically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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