chaos

noun
cha·​os | \ ˈkā-ˌäs \

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 \ adjective
chaotically \ kā-​ˈä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

Wendig follows several characters — a rock star, a religious talk radio host, a scientist, and a teenager girl as the US falls into chaos. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 But of course, Hiram Lodge appears just in time to throw everything into chaos again, in a final shot that seems to suggest the Gargoyle King is real after all? Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale's Winter Finale Finally Solves the Gargoyle King Mystery," 13 Dec. 2018 Today those plans collapsed into chaos as the company felt compelled to cancel the event after a controversy kindled by chopsticks escalated into a social media firestorm. Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana Cancels Its Shanghai Great Show Amid Controversy," 21 Nov. 2018 Leon Neal/Getty Images The British government plunged into chaos last week after Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her draft Brexit deal. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The many unpredictable outcomes of Brexit, explained," 21 Nov. 2018 For all the sparkling, free-scoring soccer on display in the group stage, things have now become spiky, to the point where England’s second-round victory over Colombia threatened to spill over into open chaos. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "The World Cup is getting seriously dirty now," 4 July 2018 Kennedy's announcement also plunges the electoral map into chaos. Jay Willis, GQ, "Why Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Is Even Worse Than You Think," 27 June 2018 The game at the London Stadium descended into chaos as fans invaded the pitch after Burnley's first goal. SI.com, "West Ham Charged Over Fan Behaviour & Pitch Invasions During Burnley Defeat in March," 27 June 2018 Any malfunction in the GPS system threatens to plunge the global economy into chaos. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 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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Statistics for chaos

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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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 \

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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