English word of the day: DEBACLE

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Hi students! It’s day 5 of our special series, Word of the Day in May. Today’s word is a kind of funny-sounding one, and it is debacle. Three syllables here, with the stress on the middle one: de-BAC-le. Debacle.

A debacle is a complete disaster or failure. Something where everything went wrong or badly. Let’s say there’s a disastrous wedding where the groom gets drunk, and someone knocks over the wedding cake, and the bride gets into a screaming argument with her mother – that wedding would be a debacle, a total disaster.

Sometimes it happens that a company tries to sell its product in a different country, but the name of the product means something bad in that country’s language. Like there’s a car called the Nova, but in Spanish, “no va” means “it doesn’t go.” So if the company spent a ton of money advertising a product with a bad name, that would be a debacle, a complete failure.

What about you? When have you seen or experienced a debacle? Let’s share some disaster stories in the comments.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning today’s word of the day, and I’ll be back with another one tomorrow. Bye for now!


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