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Related to disaster: Disaster Recovery Plan
brink of disaster
A point very close to complete ruin, destruction, or failure. Our company was on the brink of disaster, but after our latest product came out, we've been doing better than ever before! The increasing tension of looming war between the two countries has brought the entire region to the brink of disaster.
a walking disaster
Someone who seems to constantly be in or cause great amounts of trouble, difficulty, or mayhem; someone who epitomizes disaster or calamity in their actions or behavior. I heard that John got fired from another job because he kept on messing up his boss's instructions. What a walking disaster! First, I lock myself out of the house, then my grocery bag breaks in the parking lot, and now I stepped on my glasses—I'm just a walking disaster today!
1. A location where a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, flood, or storm, occurred. An area designated as such is often the recipient of government aid. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the president declared New Orleans a disaster area and allotted federal funding for the rescue and cleanup efforts.
2. By extension, an excessively messy or unclean space. After only a few weeks of living on his own, Adam's apartment looked like a disaster area because he never bothered to clean up after himself.
3. A situation, idea, or plan that is poorly planned or organized. The new economic plan that the senator proposed sounded like a complete disaster area.
be a recipe for (something)
To be likely to cause a particular thing to happen. Studying all night before your final exam is a recipe for disaster. Eating healthy food and exercising regularly is a recipe for longevity.
a disaster of epic proportions
A catastrophe. Often used figuratively. Meteorologists have been predicting that the hurricane will be a disaster of epic proportions for us because we're so close to the coast. Oh, my attempt to ask Addison to the dance was a disaster of epic proportions—I could only squeak out a few incoherent words before turning completely red and running away.
on the road to (something)
Following a course of action that results in a particular outcome. They'll be on the road to financial ruin if they keep up such extravagant spending. Now that my father has switched doctors, he's finally on the road to recovery.
a recipe for disaster
Something, especially an activity, behavior, or method of doing something, that is very likely to cause a very negative or detrimental outcome. Studying all night and getting no sleep before your final exam is a recipe for disaster. In hindsight, having the two sides of the family sitting at the same table for such a long stretch of time was always going to be a recipe for disaster.
a recipe for (something)
Something, especially an activity, behavior, or method of doing something, that is very likely to cause the specified outcome. Studying all night and getting no sleep before your final exam is a recipe for disaster. Eating healthy food and exercising regularly is a recipe for longevity. My recipe for success is to keep a healthy balance between work, family life, and socializing with my friends.
To indicate, contribute to, or display signs of an impending and severe failure or disaster. The senator's refusal to negotiate spells disaster for the chances of the legislation to pass through both houses of congress. The sudden shortage of precious metals necessary to manufacture the computer chips spelled disaster for the fledgling tech company.
spell (something) for (someone or something)
1. Literally, to write or recite the letters in a word or name to help someone learn or understand it. I usually have to spell my name out for people because it's so unusual. I'm not sure I've heard that term before. Could you spell it for me?
2. To indicate, contribute to, or display signs of some outcome or status for a person, group, organization, country, etc. The sudden shortage of precious metals necessary to manufacture the computer chips spelled disaster for the fledgling tech company. The government is hoping that a massive reinvestment in the city's infrastructure will spell success for its economy.
See also: spell
disaster of epic proportions
Cliché a very large disaster. (Often jocular.) The earthquake was responsible for a disaster of epic proportions. Your late arrival caused a disaster of epic proportions.
spell disaster Fig.
to indicate or predict disaster. What a horrible plan! It would spell disaster for all of us!
a recipe for disaster
COMMON If you say that something is a recipe for disaster, you mean that it is very likely to have unpleasant consequences or lead to failure. Trying to be trendy when dealing with teenagers is a sure recipe for disaster. Ignoring the human aspect of IT projects is a recipe for disaster.
a recipe for disastersomething that is very likely to lead to a bad outcome.
a diˈsaster area
1 (informal) a place or situation that has a lot of problems, is a failure, or is badly organized: The room was a disaster area (= very untidy), with stuff piled everywhere and nowhere to sit. ♢ The current system of taxation is a disaster area.
2 a place where a disaster has happened and which needs special help: After the floods, the whole region was declared a disaster area.