com·​men·​tary ˈkä-mən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce commentary (audio)
plural commentaries
: an explanatory treatise
usually used in plural
Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
: a record of events usually written by a participant
usually used in plural
Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War
: a systematic series of explanations or interpretations (as of a writing)
a commentary on Dante's Divine Comedy
: something that serves for illustration or explanation
The dark, airless apartments and sunless factories … are a sad commentary upon our civilization.Harry Allen Overstreet
: an expression of opinion
The magazine article is a commentary on cyberbullying.

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The show alternates between group commentary and interviews on issues like anti-Asian violence, politics and pop culture. Minhae Shim Roth, Good Housekeeping, 24 Mar. 2023 Holland also sent an unsolicited letter of support to Judge Bruce Schroeder, the Wisconsin jurist who drew criticism over his courtroom commentary and unorthodox handling of Rittenhouse’s 2021 murder trial. Jim Mustian, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2023 Lastly, thoroughly review commentary and proposals submitted by activist investors. Simone Grimes, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023 An unconventional commentary on the nature of gaslighting and the ramifications of domestic abuse, The Invisible Man is a gripping sci-fi thriller that keeps viewers guessing up to the very end. Men's Health, 17 Mar. 2023 Even in his recent promotion of a new graphic novel, his commentary drew controversy. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Mar. 2023 Former Vice President Mike Pence did point to those rising interest rates in his commentary on the crisis, blaming government spending during the Biden administration as a main driver of inflation. Scott Wong, NBC News, 14 Mar. 2023 The action was streamed online successfully, using radio frequency transmission and satellite hookups from the field and commentary and graphics from California. Matt Ruby, New York Times, 12 Mar. 2023 Editor’s note: The Padres declined to write a commentary on this issue. Alex Montoyacommunity Voices Contributor, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


see comment entry 1

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near commentary

Cite this Entry

“Commentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


com·​men·​tary ˈkäm-ən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce commentary (audio)
plural commentaries
: a series of comments or notes
also : a book made up of such material
usually used in plural

More from Merriam-Webster on commentary

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