noun, plural ca·lam·i·ties.

  1. a great misfortune or disaster, as a flood or serious injury.
  2. grievous affliction; adversity; misery: the calamity of war.

noun plural -ties

  1. a disaster or misfortune, esp one causing extreme havoc, distress, or misery
  2. a state or feeling of deep distress or misery

early 15c., from Middle French calamite (14c.), from Latin calamitatem (nominative calamitas) “damage, loss, failure; disaster, misfortune, adversity,” origin obscure. Early etymologists associated it with calamus “straw” (see shawm); but it is perhaps from a lost root preserved in incolumis “uninjured,” from PIE *kle-mo-, from base *kel- “to strike, cut” (see hilt).

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