chaos

noun
cha·​os | \ ˈkā-ˌäs How to pronounce chaos (audio) \

Definition of chaos

1a : a state of utter confusion the blackout caused chaos throughout the city
b : a confused mass or mixture a chaos of television antennas
2a often capitalized : a state of things in which chance is supreme especially : the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms — compare cosmos
b : the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system (such as the atmosphere, boiling water, or the beating heart)
3 obsolete : chasm, abyss

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Examples of chaos in a Sentence

The loss of electricity caused chaos throughout the city. When the police arrived, the street was in total chaos. The country had descended into economic chaos.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Subianto is an establishment figure from a wealthy family who was a special forces general during the Suharto dictatorship that ended amid social and economic chaos in 1998. Niniek Karmini, The Seattle Times, "Indonesians flock to final presidential campaign rallies," 13 Apr. 2019 In the late summer of 2017, a ship from the Netherlands arrived at the port of Houston amid the chaos of Hurricane Harvey. David Netto, Town & Country, "Frank Gehry Built a Tiny House for Michael Eisner," 19 Mar. 2019 For the benefit of guests arriving for London Fashion Week, here’s a brief summary of the chaos. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019 Christmas cookie season is officially in full swing, which also means that your kitchen is in a constant state of chaos. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Hearth & Hand Multi-Cookie Cutter Sheet Is Back in Stock," 12 Dec. 2018 The dragon of chaos differentiates on the one hand into the feminine, that’s the unknown, and the feminine differentiates further into the negative feminine and the positive feminine. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 Even amid the chaos of the uprising’s first hours, Manuel’s capture was a priority. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 Anthony Messenger wrote: ‘‘Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us.’’ Amid the chaos, Messenger had the bearings to share the newsroom’s street address. David Mcfadden, BostonGlobe.com, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 28 June 2018 Amid the chaos, the first lady, Melania Trump, who traveled last week to a facility housing undocumented children who had been separated from their parents at the border, has planned another such visit this week, according to a spokeswoman. New York Times, "Federal Judge in California Halts Splitting of Migrant Families at Border," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chaos.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chaos

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for chaos

Latin, from Greek — more at gum

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Learn More about chaos

Statistics for chaos

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chaos

The first known use of chaos was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for chaos

chaos

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chaos

: complete confusion and disorder : a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything
: the state of the universe before there was any order and before stars and planets were formed

chaos

noun
cha·​os | \ ˈkā-ˌäs How to pronounce chaos (audio) \

Kids Definition of chaos

: complete confusion and disorder

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More from Merriam-Webster on chaos

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chaos

Spanish Central: Translation of chaos

Nglish: Translation of chaos for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chaos for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chaos

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