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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun debacle:

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Definition of the noun debacle

What does debacle mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: debacles

  1. a sudden and violent collapse
    • lexical domain: Natural Events - nouns denoting natural events
    • synonym of debacle: fiasco
    • more generic word: collapse = a natural event caused by something suddenly falling down or caving in
  2. flooding caused by a tumultuous breakup of ice in a river during the spring or summer
  3. a sound defeat

Alternative definition of the noun debacle


  1. An event or enterprise that ends suddenly and disastrously, often with humiliating consequences.
  2. [ecology] A breaking up of a natural dam, usually made of ice, by a river and the ensuing rush of water.

Definition of the noun debacle for high school students

    a disastrous failure, disruption
    • example: The elaborately designed fireworks show turned into a debacle when the fireworks started firing in random directions.

The noun debacle is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.


"Debacle" a.k.a. "La Débâcle" is a novel by Émile Zola published in 1892, the penultimate in les Rougon-Macquart series. The story is set against the background of the political and military events that ended the reign of Napoléon III and the Second Empire in 1870, in particular the Franco-Prussian War, the Battle of Sedan and the Paris Commune.

  • also known as "The downfall (La debâcle) (The smash-up)", "The downfall (La débâcle) a story of the horrors of war", La Debacle, débâcle, débacle, Débâcle
  • language: French
  • author: Émile Zola
  • released in (124 years ago)


"Debacle" a.k.a. "Lines of Wellington" is a 2012 Franco-Portuguese epic war film and television series prepared by Chilean director Raúl Ruiz and completed by his widow Valeria Sarmiento. Its title refers to the historical Lines of Torres Vedras.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for debacle

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Google previewThe Leader (1905)

A Review of Current Affairs, Politics, Literature, Art and Industry

debacle is a rude and cruel awakening to many unfortunate ruined and partly ruined shareholders. Mr. Joseph Todhunter Pim occupied the chair at the last meeting, and amongst the other directors present was ...

Google previewRemnant Population (2003)

by Elizabeth Moon

culture responsible for the recent debacle is a social nomad living in one region only, and herding the local equivalent of grasseating cattle. Since neither grow in the tropics, ...

Google previewPolicing the Police 2 Edition

by Praveen Kumar

The recent US-64 debacle is the point. India can ill-afford repeat performances of that dimension and must save from such disasters in future through an uneluctable parameter of accountability that alone can dawn an era of responsible ...

Google previewSilent Skies (1998)

The Air Traffic Controllers' Strike by Willis J. Nordlund

THE LESSONS Whatever the characteristics of the PATCO, a primary lesson of the PATCO debacle is that unions must be very careful in the assessment of strategic strength. Even when all the elements of a successful stoppage are apparent, ...

Google previewHacking Capitalism (2015)

The Free and Open Source Software Movement by Johan Söderberg

The DVD-Jon debacle is a showcase of the consequences when information can be accessed from any point in a network spanning the whole globe. The commodity form of information is threatened by pirate sharing from every place ...

Google previewA Victor Hugo Encyclopedia (1999)

by John Andrew Frey

which was to govern France until the debacle at Sedan in 1870. The intellectual reaction to ...

Google previewOxford English Mini Dictionary (2013)

by Charlotte Buxton

debacle. completing something. deadlock a situation in which no progress can be made. deadlocked in a deadlock. deadpan expressionV less. deaden v. deadly adj. (deadlier, deadliest) 1 causing death. 2 complete; total. adv. very: deadly ...

Google previewUnited Editors Encyclopedia and Dictionary (1907)

A Library of Universal Knowledge and an Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language ...

DEBACLE, n. dé-bdlc'l [F., breaking of a frozen river} in geol., any sudden flood or rush of water which break: down opposing barriers, and hurls forward and disperses blocks of stone and other debris. DEBAR, v. dé-bdr' [deg from, and bar ]: to ...

Google previewThe Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History (2013)

by Melvyn Dubofsky

Launius SAVINGS AND LOAN DEBACLE The insolvencies in the 1980s of hundreds of savings and loan associations (S&Ls), one of the major financial disasters of American history, cost American taxpayers about $150 billion.

Google previewThe Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising (2015)

by John McDonough, Karen Egolf

Debacle. While responsible for some of the greatest campaigns in American history, Ford was also responsible for one of the most fantastic marketing catastrophes: the rollout of its Edsel division. Ford decided to introduce a new division of ...

Google previewFowler's Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage (2016)

by Jeremy Butterfield

debacle,. pronounced daybahkuhl, has lost its accents in recent usage, although they ...

Google previewEncyclopedia for the New American Century (2006)

Understanding Verbalizations in This New Age of Empire, Mythology And Consumerism by R. B. Vineyard

Debacle: The new word for disaster when pertaining to failed policies of the New American Century. Using the word debacle takes the sting out of the situation because it is an odd word that can be mispronounced in funny ways. Debate: An ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for debacle

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Photos about debacle

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Small photo of Debacle in ArkhangelskSmall photo of Aerial view great river with spring debacle during sundown. Floating of ice.Small photo of Togliatti, Samara region, Russian - April 25, 2018: Debacle on the River VolgaSmall photo of aerophobias concept. plane shakes during turbulence flying air hole. Blur image commercial plane moving fast downwards. Fear of flying. collapse slump, depression, downfall, debacle, subsidence. diveSmall photo of aerophobias concept. Blurred image of commercial plane moving fast downwards. Fear of flying. collapse slump depression downfall debacle, subsidence trip. turbidity of consciousness during seasicknessSmall photo of Charcoal debacle at Thailand in the morningSmall photo of aerophobias concept. plane shakes during turbulence flying air hole. Blur image commercial plane moving fast downwards. Fear of flying. collapse slump, depression, downfall, debacle, subsidence, trip. More...

Video language resources about debacle

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See also the pronunciation examples of debacle!

Sign language

Mandela sign language debacle

The South African government is issuing an apology for hiring a sign language interpreter who turned out to be a fake. Stuart Greer has the story. For more info ...

Quotes about debacle

A major power can afford a military debacle only when it looks like a political victory. (Friedrich Durrenmatt)
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Scrabble value of D2E1B3A1C3L1E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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