What does the word cataclysm mean?

Usage examples for cataclysm

  1. That this cataclysm was self- made by these beings, McGuire knew, and he knew that in some way it meant menace to him and his. – Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 by Various
  2. A few days of continuous suffering begotten by a cataclysm, which had rent asunder walls of life enclosing vistas he had never before seen; these had transformed him. – The Judgment House by Gilbert Parker
  3. The social conditions that prevailed in the Renaissance and later in the Restoration and Regency, proceeded directly from these poets who, meanwhile, in a cataclysm had vanished. – Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern by Edgar Saltus