- a sudden disastrous collapse or defeat, esp one involving a disorderly retreat; rout
- the breaking up of ice in a river during spring or summer, often causing flooding
- a violent rush of water carrying along debris
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
- a complete and total disaster, failure, or fiasco:The last meeting was a debacle and nothing was accomplished.
- a general breakup or dispersion;
sudden downfall or rout:The revolution ended in a debacle.
- a complete collapse or failure.
- a breaking up of ice in a river. Cf. embacle.
- a violent rush of waters or ice.
- French débâcle, derivative of débâcler to unbar, clear, equivalent. to dé- dis-1 + bâcler to bar
Latin baculum stick, rod
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged disaster, ruin, fiasco, catastrophe, calamity.