follow Dictionary.com

What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?

debacle

[dey-bah-kuh l, -bak-uh l, duh-] /deɪˈbɑ kəl, -ˈbæk əl, də-/
noun
1.
a general breakup or dispersion; sudden downfall or rout:
The revolution ended in a debacle.
2.
a complete collapse or failure.
3.
a breaking up of ice in a river.
Compare embacle.
4.
a violent rush of waters or ice.
Origin of debacle
1795-1805
1795-1805; < French débâcle, derivative of débâcler to unbar, clear, equivalent to dé- dis-1 + bâcler to bar ≪ Latin baculum stick, rod
Synonyms
2. disaster, ruin, fiasco, catastrophe, calamity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for debacle
British Dictionary definitions for debacle

debacle

/deɪˈbɑːkəl; dɪ-/
noun
1.
a sudden disastrous collapse or defeat, esp one involving a disorderly retreat; rout
2.
the breaking up of ice in a river during spring or summer, often causing flooding
3.
a violent rush of water carrying along debris
Word Origin
C19: from French débâcle, from Old French desbacler to unbolt, ultimately from Latin baculum rod, staff
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for debacle
n.

"disaster," 1848, from French débâcle "downfall, collapse, disaster" (17c.), a figurative use, literally "breaking up (of ice on a river)," extended to the violent flood that follows when the river ice melts in spring; from débâcler "to free," from Middle French desbacler "to unbar," from des- "off" + bacler "to bar," from Vulgar Latin *bacculare, from Latin baculum "stick" (see bacillus). Sense of "disaster" was present in French before English borrowed the word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for debacle

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for debacle

12
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with debacle

Nearby words for debacle