What does disaster mean in the following sentence?

I'm a disaster.

  • 4
    What is the context? You should post a longer passage of text in which this phrase occurs, lest you get no meaningful answer...
    – jub0bs
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 19:31
  • Meaning of disaster Commented May 14, 2013 at 13:07

3 Answers 3


Check this dictionary entry at Oxford:

noun: a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life: 159 people died in the disaster
[mass noun]: informal a person or thing that is a complete failure: lunch had turned out to be a total disaster

So, it is generally (may change on context) used to say how messed up (or hopeless) as a person the speaker is.


Generally, a person will say this if he/she

  • is unkempt. Messy hair, dirty clothes, lack of personal hygiene, etc...
  • is at a difficult emotional state. It can be caused by relationship troubles, unexpected life situations, or recent trauma.
  • is performing poorly at a game or task. "I cannot shoot any hoops tonight. I am a disaster."

In my opinion, the most important thing for understanding the words, their exact meaning, is to know their root - their etymology. In this particular case, the word disaster has its origin from Latin words dis which means bad and aster which means a star. Therefore disaster is a bad star! Our predecessors relied on astrology and they believed that the positions of stars can tell something about our life, about our destiny…

  • Etymology and other background material is good, but it's important to actually answer the question: What does it mean in context? Commented May 6, 2013 at 19:57

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