noun, plural ca·lam·i·ties.
- a great misfortune or disaster, as a flood or serious injury.
- grievous affliction; adversity; misery: the calamity of war.
noun plural -ties
- a disaster or misfortune, esp one causing extreme havoc, distress, or misery
- 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).