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debacle

2024-05-16 13:00 作者: 来源: 本站 浏览: 7 views Make a Comment 字号:

摘要: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 16, 2024 is: debacle • \dee-BAH-kul\  •...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 16, 2024 is:

debacle • \dee-BAH-kul\  • noun

Debacle is usually used synonymously with fiasco to mean “a complete failure.” It can also refer to a great disaster (though typically not one that causes significant suffering or loss).

// After the debacle of his first novel, he had trouble getting a publisher for his next book.

// The state has made a great deal of progress in recovering from its economic debacle.

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Examples:

“Earlier this year, on an Amtrak train from Northern Virginia to Sanford, Florida, passengers repeatedly called the police during the train’s 20-hour delay. ‘For those of you that are calling the police,’ the conductor had to announce, ‘we are not holding you hostage.’ That debacle was caused by a freight train ahead of them, which had crashed into an empty car parked on the tracks in rural South Carolina. Nothing you can do about that. A train just has to wait until whatever’s in front of it is gone.” — Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 21 Nov. 2023

Did you know?

If you need an icebreaker in some social setting, why not recount the history of debacle? After all, when it was first used in English, debacle referred to the literal breaking up of ice (such as the kind that occurs in a river after a long, cold winter), as well as to the rush of ice or water that follows such an event. Eventually, it was also used to mean “a violent, destructive flood.” If that’s not enough to make some fast friends, you could let loose the fact that debacle comes from the French noun débâcle, which in turn comes from the verb débâcler, meaning “to clear, unbolt, or unbar.” You might then add, to your listeners’ grateful appreciation, that these uses led naturally to such meanings as “a breaking up,” “collapse,” and finally the familiar “disaster” and “fiasco.” We can feel the silence thawing already.



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