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Ca*tas"tro*phe (?), n. [L. catastropha, Gr. &unr_;, fr. &unr_; to turn up and down, to overturn; kata` down + &unr_; to turn.] 1. An event producing a subversion of the order or system of things; a final event, usually of a calamitous or disastrous nature; hence, sudden calamity; great misfortune.
The strange catastrophe of affairs now at London. Bp. Burnet.
The most horrible and portentous catastrophe that nature ever yet saw. Woodward.
2. The final event in a romance or a dramatic piece; a denouement, as a death in a tragedy, or a marriage in a comedy.
3. (Geol.) A violent and widely extended change in the surface of the earth, as, an elevation or subsidence of some part of it, effected by internal causes. Whewell.