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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The show’s second episode depicts King George VI’s (Jarred Harris) death, which followed a period of ostensible recovery (his actual diagnosis, lung cancer, was kept a secret) and thrust the palace into chaos. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2022 The discussion of Arroyo’s chairmanships came during talk of a hearing order to review council rules and protocols that Flynn had pushed after a previous council meeting earlier this month devolved into chaos. Danny Mcdonald,, 14 Sep. 2022 With the Russian invasion of Ukraine throwing global energy markets into chaos, Kazakhstan is more important than ever. Amy Gunia, Time, 14 Sep. 2022 But when his ex-wife (Dern) arrives at his home with their teenage son (Zen McGrath), his world is thrown into chaos. Joey Nolfi,, 12 Sep. 2022 In early 2020, when the pandemic hit, businesses up and down the supply chain were thrown into chaos. Adam Reiner, Fortune, 12 Sep. 2022 Brexit has also thrown Northern Ireland into chaos because of the effect on the U.K. region’s border with the Republic of Ireland, a nation that remains an EU member. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2022 Her Majesty maintained an ever-present sense of control, even when the parade of ancillaries surrounding her fell into chaos. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 8 Sep. 2022 This five-episode event series stars Matthew Fox and tells the story of a family fighting to survive in a world that has been suddenly thrown into chaos thanks to an energy crisis. Amanda Kondolojy, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for chaos

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near chaos

Chao Phraya



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Statistics for chaos

Last Updated

19 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chaos.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for chaos


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

Kids Definition of chaos

: complete confusion and disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on chaos

Nglish: Translation of chaos for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chaos for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chaos


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