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 pluralBlackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
b : a record of events usually written by a participant usually used in pluralCaesar'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 Much of Rooney’s work is archived at the University of Texas at Austin, where none of his stories and personal writings include the Christianity and prayer commentary. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Andy Rooney did not write op-ed on Christianity and prayer," 30 July 2020 Mike Watts will be on play-by-play, Lori Lindsey on color commentary and Marisa Pilla will be the sideline reporter. oregonlive, "Portland Thorns vs. OL Reign in NWSL Challenge Cup: Score, live updates, how to watch free live stream online," 13 July 2020 Recent medical commentary has begun to focus on the spread of coronavirus when an air current picks it up and carries it, spreading it along the way, said Foster. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "A dress rehearsal for the Indy 500? NHRA, Indy Eleven return with fans this weekend," 11 July 2020 Mixing humor with social commentary is one of the hardest things for a comedian to do. Dallas News, "Wyatt Cenac’s observations on policing have never felt more timely or more powerful," 8 July 2020 Guy goes behind one of his favorite tournaments and gives behind the scenes tidbits and commentary. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Wednesday: ‘Stateless’ on Netflix," 8 July 2020 The exchange continues to be referenced in Mexican political commentary today. Cnn's Matt Rivers, CNN, "Why Trump? Why now? Behind Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's big trip to the US," 7 July 2020 Kyle Whitmire won first place in the all dailies serious commentary category for his columns about life, politics and corruption in Alabama. Ashley Remkus |, al, "7 journalists win Green Eyeshade Awards," 6 July 2020 No matter how slick a game's commentary or meditative its playing experience is, the thing has to be fun in order to stick it out. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Homebound with EarthBound," 5 July 2020

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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Learn More about commentary

Time Traveler for commentary

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for commentary

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for commentary


How to pronounce commentary (audio)

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

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