com·​men·​tary | \ˈkä-mən-ˌter-ē, -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

b : comment sense 2

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

The analysis was conducted by Russell Kamp and Ronald Ryan, experts in assets and liability management, who wrote about it in a commentary for Pensions&Investments. Edward Mckinley, kansascity, "KC union retirees join rally in Ohio for pension fix — or is it a bailout?," 13 July 2018 As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget observed in a 2016 commentary, benefits won't disappear unless Congress eliminated the program itself, which seems even less likely than mustering the political consensus to solidify funding. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Reality check: Social Security will survive, but will it be enough?," 8 July 2018 The most interesting part of Juli Hayden’s commentary is not her thoughts regarding immigration, calls for border security or her perception that fleeing Central American migrants are an imminent threat., "Immigrants want what we have: the American Dream," 12 July 2018 Days later, official television broadcast live the arrival of new 500-bolívar notes on emergency flights, along with commentary suggesting this would save the economy. The Economist, "Venezuelan cash is almost worthless, but also scarce," 12 July 2018 Since its genesis, the account has become the primary source for decoding Supreme’s weekly drops, providing commentary alongside diptychs. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "You Won’t Find America's Menswear Designer of the Year at NYFW Men’s," 9 July 2018 Both were also the voices of the Berean Sports Network, providing commentary for many of the school's athletic contests broadcast on the internet over the last two years. Mike May,, "Berean Christian School student-athletes feted at awards ceremony," 7 July 2018 This is not a commentary on Brown's policy stances or social viewpoints. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Why Sherrod Brown could be Democrats' best hope for defeating Donald Trump," 6 July 2018 But for the last couple of decades, local news has been under financial stress, as readers have embraced opinion and commentary served up on the Internet and cable TV, disconnected from the geographical location of the news consumer. Alberto Ibargüen, star-telegram, "Support local news –it’s crucial to our lives and our democracy," 5 July 2018

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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Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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