Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Accompanied by or causing distress or disaster; calamitous.
  • adj. Extremely bad; terrible: a disastrous report card.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of the nature of a disaster; calamitous.
  • adj. foreboding disaster; ill-omened.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of unpropitious stellar influences; unpropitious; ill-boding.
  • adj. Attended with suffering or disaster; very unfortunate; calamitous; ill-fated; ending in utter failure or ruin

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Gloomy; dismal; threatening disaster.
  • Ruinous; unfortunate; calamitous; occasioning great distress or injury: as, the day was disastrous; the battle proved disastrous.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin

Etymologies

From French désastreux, from Middle French desastre (modern désastre) 'disaster', from Italian disastro, itself from dis- "away, without" (from Latin) + astro "star, planet" (from Latin astrum 'star, celestial body', from Ancient Greek (astron)). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • While any outcome that puts Salmond and his chums into outright control of the parliament is deplored by many Scots, the word "disastrous" to describe Labour's performance is as unfair as it is inaccurate.

    Letters: The ramifications of Scottish independence

  • JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his first public comments since General Petraeus announced and President Bush approved the new Iraq plan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said all the Joint Chefs and the U.S. central commander agree it's the best option to avoid what he called the disastrous consequences of an American failure in Iraq.

    CNN Transcript Sep 14, 2007

  • In what it described as a disastrous blow for the police investigation into the car bomb explosion at Cape Town's Waterfront development on New Year's day, the Sunday Independent newspaper reported that security cameras had once again failed to capture images of the perpetrators of the crime.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Convention said on Thursday in reaction to what it termed the disastrous black matric results.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Yusuf Natsheh, director of the Waqf administration, said the Waqf was not consulted about the plan to shut down the walkway, which he called a "disastrous" policy liable to touch off protests.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • In the letter, Tam outlined what he described as the disastrous consequences for allowing gays to marry in California.

    Latest Headlines - ABC 7 News

  • As the nation begins to emerge from what has been called a disastrous period of reckless endangerment, we are entering a new period in which reckless disengagement, as it relates to the crumbling infrastructure of our bridges, roads, and tunnels, may emerge as an even greater threat.

    Frank A. Weil: A Prudent Method to Rebuild America

  • Handing al-Shabaab a propaganda tool by looking the other way when vulnerable Muslims are ill-treated could have long-term disastrous consequences for the region and undermine any efforts to address Somalia's instability.

    Maria Burnett: How Not to Address the Uganda Bombings

  • Course, the fact that some knowledgeable Pentagon people say the armed forces are in disastrous shape may give pause to bellicose.

    National Security Team of Rivals - Swampland - TIME.com

  • The second period nearly ended in disastrous fashion for the Blues, as Nashville's Joel Ward nearly fired the puck into an open side after Mason casually played the puck toward the right corner.

    USATODAY.com

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