Etymology of disaster
Posted by Johannes on 19 February 2011
Origin of the word disaster
The word disaster comes from the Middle French désastre from the old Italian disastro, which comes from the Greek pejorative prefix dis– (bad; Gr: δυσ-) + aster (star; Gr: ἀστήρ). So disaster lit. means “bad star”. The sense is astrological, of a calamity blamed on an unfavorable position of a planet.
In modern Greek (Romeika):
a) asteri or aster: star [Gr: αστέρι or αστήρ]