• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Catastrophism (Geol) The doctrine that the geological changes in the earth's crust have been caused by the sudden action of violent physical causes; -- opposed to the doctrine of uniformism.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catastrophism The theoretical view of geological events which has as its essential basis the idea of a succession of catastrophes: the opposite of uniformitarianism. See catastrophe, 3, and cataclysm, 2.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Catastrophism the theory in geology that accounts for 'breaks in the succession' by the hypothesis of vast catastrophes—world-wide destruction of floras and faunas, and the sudden introduction or creation of new forms of life, after the forces of nature had sunk into repose
    • ***


  • Paul Valery
    “If some great catastrophe is not announced every morning, we feel a certain void. nothing in the paper today , we sigh.”
  • George Sand
    “One approaches the journey's end. But the end is a goal, not a catastrophe.”
  • Leonard Cohen
    “The term clinical depression finds its way into too many conversations these days. One has a sense that a catastrophe has occurred in the psychic landscape.”
  • Adlai E. Stevenson
    “A wise man who stands firm is a statesman, a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe.”
  • Ernest Dimnet
    Ernest Dimnet
    “The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.”
  • H.G. Wells
    “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr., kata, down, strephein, to turn.


In literature:

But now she trembled and cringed on the verge of a catastrophe that withheld its whole truth.
"The Mysterious Rider" by Zane Grey
We have to plunge through catastrophe to opportunity.
"Mr. Britling Sees It Through" by H. G. Wells
But the reckless, untamed character was there still at his side, preparing Heaven knew what pitfalls and catastrophes.
"The Marriage of William Ashe" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
The catastrophe itself, however, furnished the poets with a new subject.
"Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations" by Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson
Then she suddenly forced back the tears which had struggled into her eyes, and, with indomitable courage, faced the catastrophe.
"The Story of the Foss River Ranch" by Ridgwell Cullum
In short, there was ample reason to dread surprise, while in case of defeat a terrible catastrophe was more than possible.
"Charles the Bold" by Ruth Putnam
Then the distant lights hastened towards the theatre of the catastrophe.
"Children of the Mist" by Eden Phillpotts
Then came the great catastrophe, involving the old order of society in the national overthrow.
"When William Came" by Saki
Sometimes such men escape from the final catastrophe of the long series; but not from the intermediate lashings!
"The Redemption of David Corson" by Charles Frederic Goss
Now I have not the slightest idea how the story is to be wound up to a catastrophe.
"The Journal of Sir Walter Scott" by Walter Scott

In poetry:

It's beautiful—the catastrophe:
it makes our woes amusing,
and those of the hapless
"Buddhijivi ka Vaktavya ( Intellectual's Statement)" by Raghuvir Sahay
Our lives avoided tragedy
Simply by going on and on,
Without end and with little apparent meaning.
Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.
"Pantoum Of The Great Depression" by Donald Justice
Simply by going on and on
We managed. No need for the heroic.
Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.
I don't remember all the particulars.
"Pantoum Of The Great Depression" by Donald Justice
Great summer sun, great summer sun,
All loss burns in trophies;
And in the cold sheet of the sky
Lifelong the fishlipped lovers lie
Kissing catastrophes.
"Summer Song" by George Barker
Good people of high and low degree,
Oh! think of this sad catastrophe,
And pray to God to protect ye from fire,
Every night before to your beds ye retire.
"Calamity in London" by William Topaz McGonagall
A sad tale of the sea I will relate, which will your hearts appal
Concerning the burning of the steamship "City of Montreal,"
Which had on board two hundred and forty-nine souls in all,
But, alas! a fearful catastrophe did them befall.
"The Burning of the Steamer 'City of Montreal'" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Wily intellectual Slavoj Žižek considers the catastrophic.
How to get catastrophe tax deduction .
What ought to worry Ohioans most about a court ruling that prevented a financial catastrophe for tens of thousands of small businesses is that it did not involve the merits of the case but, instead, a technicality .
Many, like Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, claim automatic spending cuts would be catastrophic for defense.
Many in the defense establishment claim automatic spending cuts would be catastrophic for defense.
Recently, several catastrophic failures of masts, booms, and lift cables have occurred on purse seine fishing vessels that have resulted in loss of life and severe injuries.
Catastrophe Bonds Unshaken By Hurricane Sandy, Banner Year Continues.
Catastrophe Bonds Unshaken By Sandy, Banner Year Continues.
If simian hemorrhagic fever virus 'jumps' species, the fallout could be catastrophic.
Risk managers are benefitting from lower premiums, but looming catastrophe losses could portend a turn in the market.
So when he characterizes the Metropolitan Opera's just completed new production of Wagner's Ring Cycle as "catastrophically vapid " you somehow sense he's not happy.
The United States would be all but powerless to protect the American economy in the face of a catastrophic disruption of oil markets, high-level participants in a war game concluded yesterday.
"This is the most catastrophic event that we have faced and been able to plan for in any of our lifetimes," Connecticut Gov Dan Malloy said.
Consulting services are designed to allow clients to maximize the value of their catastrophe modeling investment.
NJTV and THIRTEEN aired a live public television Hurricane Sandy news special, NJTV/MetroFocus Special Report Coping with Catastrophe .

In science:

Through a tight feedback loop, it is thought that the AGN can provide enough energy to prevent catastrophic cooling.
Feedback under the microscope II: heating, gas uplift, and mixing in the nearest cluster core
Different theories find ways to partially or totally prevent the cooling catastrophe in the most massive structures: galaxy groups and clusters.
Jet-regulated cooling catastrophe
In section 5, we demonstrate that this type of anisotropic mechanical AGN feedback is able to suppress the cooling catastrophe occuring in the galaxy cluster.
Jet-regulated cooling catastrophe
However, we will see that the main features of a cooling catastrophe are already captured with zero metallicity cooling.
Jet-regulated cooling catastrophe
In the absence of feedback, most of the cold baryons are concentrated within the galaxy (in the inner 10 kpc): i.e. the cooling catastrophe has occurred.
Jet-regulated cooling catastrophe