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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Other Words from chaos

chaotic \ kā-​ˈä-​tik How to pronounce chaotic (audio) \ adjective
chaotically \ kā-​ˈä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce chaotically (audio) \ adverb

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

In contrast, the South looked cluttered from the start and only devolved into chaos. Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "Way-too-early Pac-12 football predictions: Can Washington rule the North once again?," 23 Jan. 2019 In 1991, a coup plunged Haiti into chaos, and Haitians started fleeing by boat to the US en masse, with 30,000 attempting to come by May 1992. Dara Lind, Vox, "William Barr hearing: attorney general nominee’s immigration record aligns with Trump’s," 16 Jan. 2019 After the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961, the country sank into further chaos. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "That Time a CIA Spyplane Had to Dodge a Spear During the Cold War," 14 Jan. 2019 Missandei and Grey Worm share a romantic moment amidst the chaos. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Just Dropped Its Official Season 8 Trailer and There's So Much to Take In," 5 Mar. 2019 With a month left before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the political chaos is deepening. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Brexit Delayed or Denied," 26 Feb. 2019 Many businesses fear economic chaos if there isn’t an agreement on the rules and conditions that will replace the 45 years of frictionless trade that came with being an EU member. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Honda to shut plant in Brexit-shaken Britain," 20 Feb. 2019 Whilst the bawling politicians send Britain hurtling towards a no-deal crash-out from Europe at the end of March, the U.K. government is surreptitiously hiring crisis-emergency personnel to handle the unplanned-for chaos. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019 The chaos beneath it is strange, though, and doesn’t appear in the radar images outside the crater. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Huge, previously unknown impact crater found beneath Greenland’s ice," 18 Nov. 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

23 Mar 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

Comments on chaos

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