• WordNet 3.6
    • n cataclysm an event resulting in great loss and misfortune "the whole city was affected by the irremediable calamity","the earthquake was a disaster"
    • n cataclysm a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cataclysm An extensive overflow or sweeping flood of water; a deluge.
    • Cataclysm (Geol) Any violent catastrophe, involving sudden and extensive changes of the earth's surface.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cataclysm A deluge or an overflowing of water; a flood; specifically, the Noachian flood.
    • n cataclysm In geology, an inundation or deluge, or other violent and sudden physical action of great extent, supposed to have been the efficient cause of various phenomena (as of the deposition of different formations of diluvium or drift) for which the gradual action of moderate currents, or that of ice, is considered to have been inadequate.
    • n cataclysm Figuratively, a sudden or violent action of overwhelming force and extended sweep.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cataclysm kat′a-klizm a flood of water: a deluge: great revolution
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  • Jim Rohn
    “Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. cataclysmos, Gr. kataklysmo`s, from to dash over, inundate; kata` downward, against + to wash or dash over: cf. F. cataclysme,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. kataklysmoskata, downward, klyzein, to wash.


In literature:

The achievements of each period are forgotten, because its results are obliterated or consumed by a mighty cataclysm.
"India, Its Life and Thought" by John P. Jones
And these cataclysms they regard as perfectly natural, though of course very unusual, events.
"The Testimony of the Rocks" by Hugh Miller
Bear this in mind, that Sally knew absolutely nothing of the cataclysm of revived memory in Jeremiah.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
The terrible cataclysm impending, menacing the world, they seemed powerless, yet, to grasp and comprehend and understand.
"The Dark Star" by Robert W. Chambers
In the depth of despair we may long for a universal cataclysm to extend, as it were, our own pain.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
At once it seemed as if some cataclysmic upheaval were in progress.
"Kings in Exile" by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
There'd be a cataclysm for somebody!
"The Lightning Conductor Discovers America" by C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson
And before the subterranean cataclysm, they were within six hundred feet of the surface.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930" by Various
And then again that cataclysmic bell.
"Once to Every Man" by Larry Evans
This gigantic flood, this overwhelming and cataclysmic roar, filled every pore of Stannum's body.
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker

In poetry:

Though all the world be filled with snow
And fire and cataclysmal storm,
I'll cross it just to lay my head
Upon her bosom warm.
""I Said--I Care Not"" by Richard Le Gallienne

In news:

Ken Fisher's eyes light up as he recalls the cataclysmic thunderstorm that rumbled over his mountaintop home in April.
Modern society has so well insulated itself from the might of nature that it takes a cataclysmic event to get people's attention again.
In 1980 Mount St Helens in Washington State suffered a catastrophic landslide that released seething volcanic gases and rock fragments in a cataclysm that destroyed hundreds of square miles of forest.
As fatalistic as any songwriter since John Fogerty, Cleaver can venture out on a happy summer's day and find cataclysm in the calm.
The Mayans predicted the coming cataclysm more than a thousand years ago: Dec 21, 2012, or, at the latest, Dec 23.
Actor James Franco, fresh off of shooting the cataclysm comedy "The End of the World" in New Orleans, is apparently on his way back to town.
That little lizard perished along with all the earth's dinosaurs in the global cataclysm that erupted after an asteroid plunged into the Yucatan Peninsula some 65 million years ago.
In ' Doomsday Preppers,' readying for cataclysm.
Hawkish Republican presidential candidates and lawmakers have painted cataclysmic portraits of what will happen as a result of Pentagon spending cuts.
Second Lt Andy Farris served in Vietnam from September 1967 to September 1968, including the infamous cataclysm known as the Tet Offensive of '68.
The Cataclysmic Battle for Mankind 's Soul.
Let the photos above serve as a reminder that your humpday muck-ups really aren't the cataclysms they seem to be.
China is facing a product-quality scandal once again, another in a seemingly endless string — though right now the blind dissident's great escape last week and the Bo Xilai family cataclysm are smothering all news of it.
Is it possible for anyone to be more deadpan while talking about a cataclysmic supernova he and his colleagues discovered "in our backyard".
On the other hand, unless your friend has already admitted that she doubts her husband's fidelity, telling can set off a cataclysmic reaction.

In science:

These are cataclysmic variables where the magnetic field of the accreting WD is thought to truncate the accretion disk in its inner boundary.
Interpreting a Dwarf Nova Eruption as Magnetic Flare Activity
The band-limited noise components and the type-C QPO follow very tight correlations which can be extended to neutron-star binaries and possibly to cataclysmic variables [99, 7, 97, 95].
States and transitions in black-hole binaries
We choose α = 0.1, a value typical for cataclysmic variables, low-mass X-ray binaries, and black hole transients.
Post-merger electromagnetic emissions from disks perturbed by binary black holes
Most of the accreting WDs already identified are cataclysmic variables with accretion rates typically two orders of magnitude or more below the rate required for steady burning.
The Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae: Are They Supersoft Sources?
The number of detected Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) kept instead stable across the four catalogs.
Revealing the nature of unidentified INTEGRAL sources through optical spectroscopy: an overview