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Disaster implies extreme harm that affects a large area or group of people. SlideThe flood was a disaster, leaving thousands without homes.
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Not PersonalPlay
Disaster usually doesn't refer to small, personal misfortunes. SlideLosing your keys is a hassle, not a disaster.
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News ContextPlay
Disaster is often used in news reports about significant damage or loss. SlideNews headline: 'Disaster Strikes as Hurricane Hits Coast'.