: a terrible disaster
The oil spill was an environmental catastrophe.
Experts fear a humanitarian catastrophe if food isn’t delivered to the refugees soon.
an area on the brink of catastrophe
— catastrophic kætəˈstrɑːfɪk adjective [more catastrophic; most catastrophic]
The effect of the war on the economy was catastrophic.
a catastrophic drought
— catastrophically ˌkætəˈstrɑːfɪkli adverb
The dam failed catastrophically, flooding the entire valley.