dis·as·ter (dĭ-zăstər, -săs-)
a. An occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress; a catastrophe.
b. A grave misfortune.
2. Informal A total failure: The dinner party was a disaster.
3. Obsolete An evil influence of a star or planet.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.