cha·​ot·​ic kā-ˈä-tik How to pronounce chaotic (audio)
: marked by chaos or being in a state of chaos : completely confused or disordered
a chaotic political race
After he became famous, his life became even more chaotic.
They may look chaotic and barbaric, but scrums are a critical and strategic part of the game, and they unfold and escalate according to hockey's venerated, unwritten rules of engagement.David Fleming
To the uninitiated visitor, the seemingly chaotic energy of a typical Thai market may give the impression of a free-for-all, …Diane Ruengsom
mathematics : having outcomes that can vary widely due to extremely small changes in initial conditions
In other words, what comes out of the program's equations is extremely sensitive to what goes in. And that, as any mathematician would recognize, is one of the hallmarks of chaotic systems.Ingrid Wickelgren
A physical system—a weather system, say—is chaotic if a very slight change in initial conditions sends the system off on a very different course.Physics Today
chaotically adverb
a chaotically busy scene

Word History

First Known Use

1688, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chaotic was in 1688

Dictionary Entries Near chaotic

Cite this Entry

“Chaotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on chaotic

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