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 Her arguments in that case have often veered into unproven conspiracies about prosecutorial wrongdoing, and her recent commentary about the election has been even more unmoored. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "As Trump’s election lawsuits fizzle, Giuliani goes to court. It doesn’t get better," 17 Nov. 2020 The National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland, not often noted for its film commentary, felt compelled to weigh in on the trailer. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Wild Mountain Thyme' trailer triggers Irish accent emergency with Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan," 17 Nov. 2020 At that point, as usual with classified NRO missions, United Launch Alliance ended its mission commentary, leaving it to the Air Force to confirm a successful flight in a post-launch update some time after the satellite's deployment. William Harwood, CBS News, "Atlas 5 rocket with spy satellite aboard blasts off in spectacular sunset launch," 13 Nov. 2020 Abby Phillip, a political correspondent for CNN, was praised at length on social media for her thoughtful, intelligent commentary. Aimee Simeon,, "How Hair & Makeup Helped Abby Phillip Feel Powerful On Election Night," 12 Nov. 2020 Speakers shall not use their commentary in an attempt to interrogate board members nor in an attempt to force the body to engage in debate; Any questions presented will be answered in writing following the meeting. Tyler Carter, Dallas News, "Your chance to ask DeSoto ISD about financial reform plan after troubles that led to state oversight," 12 Nov. 2020 In it, the President quote-tweeted — that is, added his own commentary to -- a tweet from Matt Walsh, a conservative personality, who in turn had quote-tweeted a tweet from Matt Mackowiak, a Texas GOP county chairman. Mallory Simon, CNN, "How a Michigan election map with false information went viral and landed in Trump's Twitter feed," 4 Nov. 2020 As protests against policing tactics and racial injustice swept the country this year, some local and federal law enforcement authorities, along with Trump, have focused their public commentary on cases of violence, looting or property damage. Washington Post, "As police unions endorse Trump, some worry officers displaying bias could be intimidating at the polls, affect voting," 31 Oct. 2020 After striding away, Rivers returned and resumed his commentary. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Chargers reaped apparent bonanza from Philip Rivers’ final rough ride," 26 Oct. 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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 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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