cataclysm

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cataclysm

1. a disastrous flood; deluge
2. Geology another name for catastrophe

cataclysm

a major physical and/or social upheaval that disrupts a previous ecological and/or social order to such an extent as to lead to the extinction of species and/or the elimination of a society. For example, it has been suggested that rather than merely endogenous social factors, forces such as climatic change (e.g. from volcanic eruption, meteorites) and/or epidemic diseases may have been responsible for periodic cataclysmic changes in social life. Such events as these, it has been suggested, may be behind the collapse of some South American societies and the replacement of feudal by capitalist society