: heightened fuss or concern : to-do
much ado about the need for reform
: time-wasting bother over trivial details
wrote the paper without further ado
: trouble, difficulty
The journey itself is not described; our heroes disembark without ado at Philadelphia.Anthony Lane

Example Sentences

a bride-to-be caught up in the usual prenuptial ado
Recent Examples on the Web Blind anti-China policy reflexes can unwittingly result in much ado about (almost) nothing. WSJ, 7 Nov. 2021 The police instead questioned the murderer and released him back onto the streets with little ado. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 9 May 2023 As someone who worked successfully for HBO on previous projects like Watchmen and The Leftovers, Lindelof dismissed the buzz as being much ado about nothing. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Apr. 2023 Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Right now, there is much ado online about a big dumb head. WIRED, 7 Mar. 2023 Much ado has been made about the blue light our devices emit, but the ways in which tech hijacks our sleep go far deeper than that. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2023 Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as the adult trio, and there are still musical numbers and much ado about eating children’s souls. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022 For decades, it was increased regularly without much ado, but in the modern era it has been transformed by Republicans into a political weapon. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 18 Jan. 2023 Mudslides on Ballyhoo and Summer Bay Roads led to closures, and local seafood processing plant UniSea relocated some of its residents, but the city largely managed the storm without much ado. Theo Greenly, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ado.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, reduced from the infinitive phrase at do, from at "to, at entry 1" + do, don "to do entry 1"

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ado was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ado

Cite this Entry

“Ado.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ado. Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: fuss entry 1 sense 1, trouble
much ado about nothing

More from Merriam-Webster on ado

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