chaos

play
noun cha·os \ˈkā-ˌäs\

Definition of chaos

  1. 1 obsolete :  chasm, abyss

  2. 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 cosmosb :  the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system (such as the atmosphere, boiling water, or the beating heart)

  3. 3a :  a state of utter confusion the blackout caused chaos throughout the cityb :  a confused mass or mixture a chaos of television antennas

chaotic

play \kā-ˈä-tik\ adjective

chaotically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of chaos in a Sentence

  1. The loss of electricity caused chaos throughout the city.

  2. When the police arrived, the street was in total chaos.

  3. The country had descended into economic chaos.

Recent Examples of chaos from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of chaos

Latin, from Greek — more at gum


CHAOS Defined for English Language Learners

chaos

play
noun

Definition of chaos for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

chaos

play
noun cha·os \ˈkā-ˌäs\

Definition of chaos for Students

  1. :  complete confusion and disorder



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

clear to the understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!