chaos

noun cha·os \ ˈkā-ˌäs \
Updated on: 7 Dec 2017

Definition of chaos

1 a : a state of utter confusion
  • the blackout caused chaos throughout the city
b : a confused mass or mixture
  • a chaos of television antennas
2 a 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

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

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

noun cha·os \ ˈkā-ˌäs \

Definition of chaos for Students

: complete confusion and disorder


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