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

Here’s a look at how to navigate the chaos to land the hottest deals and maximize your savings. Nicole Spector /, NBC News, "How to get the most out of Amazon Prime Day without overspending," 11 July 2018 Every child is an individual, but no one skips the developmental chaos of the preschool years. Meghan Leahy, chicagotribune.com, "I don't want to spank my sassy 4-year-old. What should I do instead?," 5 July 2018 Some people’s less-than-perfect work is still outstanding, and all three Sketch pieces showcased inventive artists with focused vision and the skill to build cohesive structure around the chaos of experimentation. Claudia Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "SF choreographer Amy Seiwert’s risky Sketch lab pays off," 29 June 2018 The resulting chaos killed millions of people and threw civilization into the Energy Wars, leaving behind a broken world rife with crime and poverty. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Trail of Lightning is a breathtaking Native American urban fantasy adventure," 26 June 2018 The real world is governed by the chaos of other people’s free will, and our lives consist of negotiation. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Puzzled by Westworld? Look to Shakespeare.," 26 June 2018 In a photo from her cover shoot for the July/August issue of Health Magazine, Busy Philipps poses angelically amongst the chaos often found in a home where young kids live. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Every Celeb Kid Is Strumming On This Quaint Fairytale Instrument, But Why?," 12 July 2018 And that’s without even mentioning the fact that forward Nikola Kalinic was sent home after refusing to come off the bench in the opener against Nigeria, or the chaos within the HNS. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Croatia's Character, Resiliency on Full Display in Shocking Run to World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 When the chaos ended, the material left in the container was carbon-free, pure iron. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 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

5 Oct 2018

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 \

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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