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 To control the chaos, Twist has been pushing to install SR-7 wildfire early-detection systems, which use infrared and optical cameras to detect growing wildfires. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Wildfire toll leaves communities struggling to recover," 14 Aug. 2019 Her best works are brilliantly poised between dynamism and chaos, buoyant vitality and catastrophic collapse, fusion and fragmentation. Los Angeles Times, "The 11 best art exhibitions to see in L.A. this fall," 12 Sep. 2019 The comfort and joy these people bring to me (amongst the real life chaos and mess, ha) is the dearest. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Who Is Grace Mitchell? Here Are 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Star of HGTV's One of a Kind," 9 Sep. 2019 In December, Brown showed his power to send a contending team into total chaos, playing a role in causing a promising Steeler season to circle the drain before turning the team’s winter into a circus. Albert Breer,, "Patriots Take a Risk on Signing Antonio Brown Because They Can," 7 Sep. 2019 Pia, a woman shrouded in coolness, kimonos, and creative chaos, used to be in the outskirts of my friend group. Vogue, "With Crapzine, Christopher Insulander Steps Into the Void of the Cancelled Stockholm Fashion Week," 26 Aug. 2019 And in the middle of the chaos, another woman in power enters the picture: Witherspoon’s fiery Bradley Jackson, a fellow journalist. Samantha Highfill,, "Jennifer Aniston fights for her job amid #MeToo shakeup in The Morning Show trailer," 19 Aug. 2019 The things that drive the most engagement—controversy and chaos, not kindness and civility—are the things that have come to define Twitter. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "At Twitter, It Seems No One Can Hear the Screams," 15 Aug. 2019 But the beauty of the series is that amid all the chaos, amid all these events that are written in history books, showrunner Lisa McGee never loses sight of what’s important: her girls growing up, and, of course, being able to see Take That live. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Netflix’s Derry Girls is the best teen show out right now," 14 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for chaos

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for chaos

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

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More Definitions for chaos


How to pronounce chaos (audio)

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


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

Kids Definition of chaos

: complete confusion and disorder

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Comments on chaos

What made you want to look up chaos? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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