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(of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin; "the stock market crashed on Black Friday"; "a calamitous defeat"; "the battle was a disastrous end to a disastrous campaign"; "such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory"- Charles Darwin; "it is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it"- Douglas MacArthur; "a fateful error"
causing fear or dread or terror; "the awful war"; "an awful risk"; "dire news"; "a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked"; "the dread presence of the headmaster"; "polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was"; "a dreadful storm"; "a fearful howling"; "horrendous explosions shook the city"; "a terrible curse"