[fee-as-koh or especially for 2, -ah-skoh]
noun, plural fiascos, fiascoes.
a complete and ignominious failure.
a round-bottomed glass flask for wine, especially Chianti, fitted with a woven, protective raffia basket that also enables the bottle to stand upright.

1850–55; < Italian: literally, bottle < Germanic (see flask1); sense “failure” from Italian phrase far fiasco to fail, literally, to make a bottle, idiom of uncertain origin

1. disaster, catastrophe, debacle, flop, bomb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fiasco (fɪˈæskəʊ)
n , pl -cos, -coes
a complete failure, esp one that is ignominious or humiliating
[C19: from Italian, literally: flask; sense development obscure]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1855, theater slang for "a failure," by 1862 acquired the general sense of any dismal flop, on or off the stage. Via Fr. phrase fiare fiasco "turn out a failure," from It. far fiasco "suffer a complete breakdown in performance," lit. "make a bottle," from fiasco "bottle," from L.L. flasco, flasconem
(see flask). The reason for all this is utterly obscure today, but "the usual range of fanciful theories has been advanced" [Ayto]. Weekley finds it utterly mysterious and compares Fr. ramasser un pelle "to come a cropper (in bicycling), lit. to pick up a shovel." OED makes nebulous reference to "alleged incidents in Italian theatrical history." Klein suggests Venetian glass-crafters tossing aside imperfect pieces to be made later into common flasks. But according to an Italian dictionary, fare il fiasco used to mean "to play a game so that the one that loses will pay the fiasco," in other words, he will buy the next bottle (of wine). That plausibly connects the word with the notion of "a costly mistake."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Most astounding of all was the way he turned a fiasco into a great success.
The role of race in the present fiasco is anything but clear.
The administrative participants of this fiasco should apply the same standards
  of perfection to themselves and resign.
Accordingly, some of the furor over the fiasco has died down.
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