com·​men·​tary | \ ˈkä-mən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce commentary (audio) , -ˌte-rē\
plural commentaries

Definition of commentary

1a : an explanatory treatise usually used in plural Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
b : a record of events usually written by a participant usually used in plural Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War
2a : a systematic series of explanations or interpretations (as of a writing) a commentary on Dante's Divine Comedy
3a : something that serves for illustration or explanation The dark, airless apartments and sunless factories … are a sad commentary upon our civilization.— Harry Allen Overstreet
b : an expression of opinion The magazine article is a commentary on cyberbullying.

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Examples of commentary in a Sentence

The television show features political commentary by well-known journalists. The magazine includes humor and social commentary. The book is a commentary on her experiences abroad. I like listening to his social commentaries. He provided commentary during the game. The major television stations provided running commentaries on the election results.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bizarre Photoshops of the first family are typically more internet game than political commentary. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "The Meaning Behind the #UnwantedIvanka Meme," 2 July 2019 Around 2008, YouTube Atheism coalesced into one of the first political commentary communities on the platform. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Can the Left Win YouTube?," 2 July 2019 Some early reviews and social-media commentary suggest the game’s AR features have nothing to do with the lack of enthusiasm for the game itself. Sarah E. Needleman, WSJ, "Harry Potter Augmented-Reality Game Is Off to a Slow Start," 27 June 2019 First place, General commentary portfolio: Haley Correll. | The Times-picayune,, " | The Times-Picayune wins 11 awards in national features journalism contest," 26 June 2019 After Donegan’s review, the report traveled up the chain of command for several months, receiving commentary at each step. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened," 24 June 2019 Stephen Curry is executive producer, and Rob Riggle, Joe Tessitore and Jeannie Mai provide commentary., "TV This Week: ‘City on a Hill’; ‘Euphoria’; ‘Grand Hotel’; ‘Yellowstone’; ‘The Good Fight’," 16 June 2019 The series will not only provide social commentary for work culture, but also the struggles that are particular to Generation Z, such as social media and, of course, dating. Essence, "Tracee Ellis Ross To Star In And Executive Produce 'Daria' Spin-Off," 13 June 2019 The Stillwater native was in overdrive, juggling her day job of providing color commentary on Minnesota United’s TV broadcasts while deep in prep work to call Women’s World Cup games throughout June. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Stillwater native, United announcer Kyndra de St. Aubin preps for second Women’s World Cup," 6 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for commentary

see comment entry 1

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Statistics for commentary

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commentary

The first known use of commentary was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for commentary



English Language Learners Definition of commentary

: spoken or written discussion in which people express opinions about someone or something
: a spoken description of an event (such as a sports contest) as it is happening
: something that shows or makes a statement about the true state or condition of something

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Comments on commentary

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


characterized by aphorism

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