com·​ma | \ˈkä-mə \

Definition of comma 

1 : a punctuation mark, used especially as a mark of separation within the sentence

3 : any of several nymphalid butterflies (genus Polygonia) with a silvery comma-shaped mark on the underside of the hind wings

Examples of comma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The variable was extensive employee benefits, comma, for part-timers. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Business management expert and author Tom Peters on Recode Decode," 7 July 2018 Traditionally, summits between heads of state follow months of lower-level meetings in which officials work out a deal, haggling over every clause and comma, while choreographing the interactions of the top leaders in advance. Matt Stiles,, "Trump becomes first U.S. president to meet a North Korean head of state; 'major change' coming," 12 June 2018 Aside from proving Stephenson is a fan of the Oxford comma, the government argued that this quote showed AT&T did intend to use Time Warner’s content as a weapon. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "AT&T, Time Warner, and the Future of TV in the Mobile Era," 13 June 2018 Below are the five ways these financiers have joined the three-comma club. Tom Metcalf,, "Five Ways to Become a Wall Street Billionaire in 2018," 14 May 2018 Likely there was a comma that has faded over the years in between those words, but even with bran and hops, this would taste nothing like beer. Markus Haas, San Antonio Express-News, "When it comes selling beer, historical truth is beside the point," 3 May 2018 Refinery29 has reached out to Witherspoon's team for comment about her reprisal of Mrs. Woods comma Elle. Morgan Baila,, "Legally Blonde 3," 4 June 2018 So is hitting behind the runner in baseball and the fastidious serial Oxford comma. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘The Roger Kahn Reader’ Review: The Joys of Summer," 25 May 2018 Every student subject used but a single space after each comma. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Two spaces after period are better than one, except maybe they aren’t, study finds," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comma.' 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 comma

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for comma

Late Latin, from Latin, part of a sentence, from Greek komma segment, clause, from koptein to cut — more at capon

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Dictionary Entries near comma





comma butterfly

comma ditonicum


Statistics for comma

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Time Traveler for comma

The first known use of comma was in 1554

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More Definitions for comma



English Language Learners Definition of comma

: a punctuation mark , that is used to separate words or groups of words in a sentence


com·​ma | \ˈkä-mə \

Kids Definition of comma

: a punctuation mark , used chiefly to show separation of words or word groups within a sentence

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Comments on comma

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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