Word of the Day


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a bad event, usually death, destruction, or complete failure, that will happen in the future and cannot be avoided

Origin and usage

The word doom comes from the Old English word ‘dom’ which means ‘judgement, condemnation’. A book of laws was called a ‘dombec’ in Old English. Modern usage of the word doom, meaning ‘ruin’ or ‘destruction’, comes from the early 1600s.


Doom refers to a dangerous event that is sure to happen at some future point. This bad situation cannot be stopped, and so the word doom suggests fear and dread.

One unexpected place where doom seems imminent is in the world of cacao growers. Cacao is the bean from which chocolate is made; due to fungi and viruses killing off cacao trees, many environmentalists believe that chocolate could be doomed.

Cacao trees grow in tropical climates, but this is also where the fungi that attack these trees flourish. Whole farms can be doomed by a single fungal infection, decimating crops and threatening farmers’ livelihood. The cacao industry employs as many as 50 million people around the world, so there is more at stake than simply a short supply of a delicious treat.

Thankfully, scientists from the Innovative Genomic Institute believe they have found a way to genetically engineer cacao trees that will resist fungi and viral infections. The research team have been working diligently with cacao growers and hope to eventually expand their work to include other essential crops, like rice and wheat, that may be doomed by climate change and fungi growth.


“Modern science says: ‘The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future.’ From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.”
(Nikola Tesla)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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