catastrophe


catastrophe
catastrophic /kat'euh strof"ik/, catastrophical, catastrophal, adj.catastrophically, adv.
/keuh tas"treuh fee/, n.
1. a sudden and widespread disaster: the catastrophe of war.
2. any misfortune, mishap, or failure; fiasco: The play was so poor our whole evening was a catastrophe.
3. a final event or conclusion, usually an unfortunate one; a disastrous end: the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox.
4. (in a drama) the point at which the circumstances overcome the central motive, introducing the close or conclusion; dénouement. Cf. catastasis, epitasis, protasis.
5. Geol. a sudden, violent disturbance, esp. of a part of the surface of the earth; cataclysm.
6. Also called catastrophe function. Math. any of the mathematical functions that describe the discontinuities that are treated in catastrophe theory.
[1570-80; < Gk katastrophé an overturning, akin to katastréphein to overturn. See CATA-, STROPHE]
Syn. 1. misfortune, calamity. 1, 3. See disaster.
Ant. 1, 3. triumph.

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      in literature, the final action that completes the unraveling of the plot in a play, especially in a tragedy. Catastrophe is a synonym of denouement. The term is sometimes applied to a similar action in a novel or story.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms: