VCR List 6

Sam Claypoole

Fill in the Blank!

Historians are unsure what kind of terrible _____________ occurred that forced all of the Mayans out of their glorious cities.
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1) A disaster or catastrophe on such large scale that biological, environmental, or cultural elements are permanently altered or irreparably lost to the earth

2) an extensive flood

Cataclysm v. Catastrophe

Some dictionaries provide a third definition of cataclysm to be a synonym of catastrophe.

Catastrophe hear means a devestating geologic event that suddenly and violently changes the earth's surface.

However the book specifies that catastrophe=earthquake and cataclysm=flood

Also catastrophe is commonly used as the climax of a tragedy.


adj: clataclysmic, clataclysmal

adv: clataclysmically


Kata=down (Greek)

Kluzein=wash (Greek)

Kataklysmos and Kataklyzein


deluge, upheavel, calamity


blessing, miracle, success

In Which Sentence is the Bolded Word Used Incorrectly?

1) Our entire civilization was rocked by the cataclysm that shook the very surface of the Earth beneath us, vibrating buildings into early deaths onto people who suffered the same fate.

2) Some people prepare early for cataclysmic events, buying bunkers to live in and food to sustain them for several years when the disaster hits.

3) The cataclysm that destroyed several cities in Japan also nearly caused a nuclear meltdown when a Fukushima reactor was flooded.

4) In 2012, some feared a vague cataclysm based off of the ending of a major cycle in the Mayan calendar; when no apocalypse occurred on the predicted date, a new date was chosen for massive upheaval.