SAT vocabulary: deluge

What does deluge mean? You’re about to find out!

Quick Vocab Quiz for the word deluge

First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word deluge, try this quick vocab quiz:

deluge most nearly means

(A) interval (B) increase (C) tiff (D) flood (E) pox

(Answer is below.)

Part of Speech: NOUN

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈdɛl.yuʒ/ Glossary-style: [DEHL-yoozh]

Definition: a flood of water. a heavy downpour of rain. a large and powerful quantity of something.

Example: After the death of 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney, the network CBS received a deluge of letters and emails lamenting the demise of the 92-year-old writer.

Discussion: A deluge is simply a flood or downpour, either literal or metaphorical. So, we can talk about a deluge of rain (the most obvious way to use the word), a deluge of telephone calls, a deluge of thanks or questions, etc.

There is a well-known French phrase, après moi le déluge, which basically means after me, the flood. The phrase has been attributed to both King Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour (his lover) and has been used to express the notion that disaster will ensue after the departure of the speaker. People also use the expression to mean that they don’t care about anything bad that may occur after they depart a place or situation, but the former interpretation is considered closer to the original intent.

Answer to the quick quiz above:

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