A fiasco is an event or situation that is a complete failure or disaster, often resulting in embarrassment or humiliation for those involved.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



catastrophe, debacle, failure, disaster, flop, mess, calamity


Success, triumph, accomplishment, victory

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun fiasco, fiascos
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The musical performance turned into a fiasco when the lead singer forgot the lyrics and the sound system malfunctioned.

  • The company’s attempt to launch a new product turned into a fiasco as the product had multiple defects and failed to meet customer expectations.

  • The diplomatic negotiations ended in a fiasco when both sides refused to compromise and instead engaged in heated arguments.

  • The party planning committee’s lack of coordination and poor execution resulted in a fiasco, with guests arriving to find insufficient food and entertainment.


The word “fiasco” has an interesting history and usage. It originated from the Italian word “fiasco,” which means a wine bottle, particularly one in the shape of a flask. In the 19th century, it became a popular slang term in the theater world to refer to a play or performance that was a complete failure, comparable to a bottle of wine that had gone bad. Over time, the term extended beyond the theater and became more widely used to describe any event or situation that was a disaster or complete failure.

The usage of “fiasco” does not require any prefixes or suffixes. It is a standalone noun that effectively conveys a sense of failure, disappointment, or embarrassment. Due to its origins in the theater, the word often carries a notion of public humiliation or disappointment, as it is associated with performances gone wrong.

“Fiasco” is commonly used in both formal and informal contexts, and it is versatile enough to describe a wide range of situations. It can refer to business ventures, political campaigns, social events, and personal endeavors that have gone poorly. The word has a negative connotation and implies a significant degree of failure or incompetence.

For example, one might say, “The team’s attempt to execute their project resulted in a fiasco, with missed deadlines and unsatisfactory outcomes.” In this sentence, “fiasco” is used to highlight the overall failure and lack of success in the team’s project.

Overall, “fiasco” is a powerful and evocative word that vividly describes a catastrophic failure. Its straightforward usage and prominent roots make it a valuable addition to the English language.