de·ba·cle (d-bäkl, -bkl, db-kl)
1. A sudden, disastrous collapse, downfall, or defeat; a rout.
2. A total, often ludicrous failure.
3. The breaking up of ice in a river.
4. A violent flood.
[French débâcle, from débâcler, to unbar, from Old French desbacler : des-, de- + bacler, to bar (from Vulgar Latin *bacculre, from Latin baculum, rod; see bak- in Indo-European roots).] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/
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- Grand Panjandrum
- Posts: 1142
- Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
- Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE
Thanks, Katy ! I've never heard or seen «debacle» used to describe the breaking up of ice on a river in the spring, but it can be quite an impressive spectacle, indeed ! Interestingly enough, the Swedish word for when winter ice begins to lose its grip on waterways, «islossning» has much more positive connotations, e g, a breakthrough in negotiations....
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