cata-, cat-, cath-, kata-

(Greek: down, downward; under, lower; against; entirely, in accordance with, completely; definitely)

catabythismomania (s) (noun), catabythismomanias (pl)
An abnormal desire, or recurrent impulse, to drown oneself: Mary was suffering so much from the pains in her elbows and knee joints that she was considering a catabythismomania in her bath tub.
1. Relating to, or having the properties of, a caustic curve formed by reflection.
2. A caustic curve formed by reflection of light.
catachronobiology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The study of the deleterious effects of time on a living system: Mrs. Rush was doing research in catachronobiology to find out the harmful consequences of time on living organisms.
catachthonian (adjective), more catachthonian, most catachthonian
A reference to something that is subterranean or underground: The catachthonian sewer system of the town is is located under the town itself.
cataclasm, cataclysm
cataclasm (KAT uh klaz uhm) (noun)
Disruption; breaking down: This winter's heavy ice and snow resulted in a cataclasm of electrical and phone lines in several parts of the country.
cataclysm (KAT uh kliz" uhm) (noun)
1. A sudden and violent upheaval or disaster that causes great changes in society: The revolution could result in a worldwide cataclysm.
2. A terrible and devastating natural disaster; such as, a flood: An earthquake can cause a great cataclysm; especially, in a densely populated area.

The summer cataclysm of hail and heavy rains caused a cataclasm of the dikes along the river and a terrible cataclysm of flooding in the river bottoms.

"A cataclysmic event is happening in the oil producing country that is threatening to reduce its oil exports to zero within the foreseeable future."
A person or something that acts as a stimulus to speed up a result.
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cataclysm (s) (noun), cataclysms (pl)
1. Something that causes great destruction, violence, upheaval, etc.: During the winter of 2013 and 2014 there were floods, extreme cold air blowing from the Arctic causing below freezing temperatures with great quantities of snow and ice; as well as other related cataclysms; especially, in Canada and the United States.

Revolutions that have been going on in several countries have resulted in severe cataclysms for many of the citizens living in those areas and also for some of the neighboring nations.

2. Etymology: from French cataclysme, which came via Latin from Greek kataklusmos, "deluge"; from kata, "down" + kluzein, "to wash".
A sudden and overwhelming flood or deluge.
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A big flood or deluge of rain.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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A reference to a cataclysm.
cataclysmic (adjective), more cataclysmic, most cataclysmic
1. Pertaining to a great and general flood of water, a deluge: "The cataclysmic rain showers have altered the physical situations in the country because so many people have lost their homes and their living conditions have been devastated."
2. Figuratively, a political or social upheaval that sweeps away the old order of things: "The cataclysmic terror attacks have caused great changes in the social structures of the country."
3. A reference to sudden and violent upheavals or disasters that cause great changes in people's lives: "The severe flooding of a certain country was one cataclysmic disaster, but then the same territory suffered more cataclysmic sufferings from an extreme drought that destroyed crops and caused starvation for thousands of people."
catacoustics (s) (noun) (no pl)
The science of reflected sounds: The acoustical engineer, who was hired by the university, understood the catacoustics that were needed in the auditorium. He made the appropriate structural recommendations to cut down on the sounds that were bouncing off the walls.