disaster


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to disaster: Disaster Recovery Plan
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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.
See also: brink, disaster, of

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!
See also: disaster, walking

disaster area

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.
See also: area, disaster

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.
See also: recipe

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.
See also: disaster, epic, of, proportion

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.
See also: on, road

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.
See also: disaster, recipe

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.
See also: recipe

spell disaster

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.
See also: disaster, spell

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 gay

slang A gay person who is struggling in some area or areas of their life. Typically used as a humorous self-identifier. The term originated from a meme that references a 3x3 Dungeons and Dragons character alignment chart and allows one to identify as "gay," "bi," or "lesbian," and to categorize their ability as "distinguished," "functional," or "disaster." I just feel like everything in my life is falling apart right now. Textbook disaster gay. Oh, my sweet disaster gay. That guy is definitely hetero, do not hit on him.
See also: disaster, gay

disaster bi

slang A bisexual person who is struggling in some area or areas of their life. Typically used as a humorous self-identifier. The term originated from a meme that references a 3x3 Dungeons and Dragons character alignment chart and allows one to identify as "gay," "bi," or "lesbian," and to categorize their ability as "distinguished," "functional," or "disaster." I just feel like everything in my life is falling apart right now. Textbook disaster bi. Oh, my sweet disaster bi. You will find love one day.
See also: bi, disaster

disaster lesbian

slang A lesbian who is struggling in some area or areas of her life. Typically used as a humorous self-identifier. The term originated from a meme that references a 3x3 Dungeons and Dragons character alignment chart and allows one to identify as "gay," "bi," or "lesbian," and to categorize their ability as "distinguished," "functional," or "disaster." I just feel like everything in my life is falling apart right now. Textbook disaster lesbian. Oh, my sweet disaster lesbian. She's definitely hetero, do not hit on her.
See also: disaster

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.
See also: disaster, epic, of, proportion

spell disaster Fig.

to indicate or predict disaster. What a horrible plan! It would spell disaster for all of us!
See also: disaster, fig, spell

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.
See also: disaster, recipe

a recipe for disaster

something that is very likely to lead to a bad outcome.
See also: disaster, recipe

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.
See also: area, disaster

a recipe for diˈsaster, sucˈcess, etc.

a method or an idea that seems likely to have a particular result: That idea sounds like a recipe for disaster.What’s her recipe for success?
See also: recipe

on the ˌroad to ˈruin, diˈsaster, etc.

following a course of action that will lead to ruin, disaster, etc: I don’t know whether it was losing his job or the divorce that set him on the road to ruin.
See also: on, road

an ˌaccident/a diˌsaster waiting to ˈhappen

a thing or person that is very likely to cause danger or a problem in the future because of the condition it is in or the way they behave: For many months local residents had been complaining that the building was unsafe, and that it was an accident waiting to happen.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, the government has allocated Rs 2 billion for investment under Disaster Relief Fund created by the provincial government to manage future disasters which was the first of its kind initiative in the province.
The Disaster Management Act 2005 articulates the need for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into development planning.
He pointed out that disaster is a serious decimal that when it occurs in an area, it disrupts the general social and environmental settings in such ways and extents that are characteristically different from the daily living patterns of the people with devastating effects on individuals, families and the society at large.
"The authority has also provided relief to its friend and neighbouring countries as per the directions from the government during disaster where the recent has been given to Iran during earthquake," Brig Mukhtar mentioned.
'It is high time to invest in disaster risk reduction instead of post-disaster recovery.
He added that disaster preparedness plays a vital role in saving lives and livelihood, 'particularly when integrated into an overall disaster risk reduction approach.'
"Financing should be at the core of any disaster management action.
Going forward, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Indonesia will continue to support disaster response efforts in North Sumatra through the innovative deployment of ICT, and plan to link this system with the Agency's existing systems, including its river management system and its volcano monitoring system, expanding and enhancing functionality such as with evacuation notifications for residents.
Joining this year's discussions were distinguished experts in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management such as: Professor Kenneth Hartigan-Go of AIM's Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (ZSDM), and Atty.
In the workshop, disaster prevention expert Tomoaki Imai was invited from Koto Ward to give instructions on preparation measures based on past experiences.
While high-income countries posted losses from 53% of disasters between 1998 and 2017, low-income countries only reported them from 13% of disasters.
The findings, published by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), also show that people in low- and middle-income countries are seven times more likely to die from natural disasters than those in developed nations.
ISLAMABAD -- Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Affairs, Naeem Ul Haq has said under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was committed for developing disaster resilient cities and infrastructure.
ISLAMABAD -- Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs, Naeem-ul-Haq Sunday said the government is determined to develop disaster resilient cities and infrastructure across the country.
General Khaled Al-Mekrad, Director General of Kuwait fire Services Directorate (KFSD) during the Arab-African forum for Disaster Risk Reduction TUNIS, Oct 12 (KUNA) -- Kuwait has always rushed to help people facing natural disasters around the globe, the Gulf country's top fireman said Friday, citing UN selection of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as Humanitarian Leader as testament to relentless philanthropy.