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.

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 Alone, later on, in various anonymous hotel rooms, Johnny listens back to the tapes and adds musings of his own about these American lives, little fragments of commentary that amount to a snapshot of his state of mind. Jessica Kiang, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2021 The new section offers opinion essays on religious issues with the kind of commentary on secular topics like mask mandates, inflation, race and President Biden’s spending plans that can be found on any number of other conservative websites. New York Times, 14 Nov. 2021 Some of the commentary in the second edition includes reflections from current and former Brown faculty and students. Globe Staff,, 12 Nov. 2021 In 2013, when it was released, the song spawned a new microeconomy of commentary denouncing it as a distillation of rape culture, or fretting over whether enjoying its jaunty hook was defensible. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 11 Nov. 2021 That can be a lot of commentary flying around inside the car. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 Such is the approach being taken by a small group of consultants and Sears campaign staffers, who over the past week have transformed the account into an irreverent stream of commentary on the Virginia elections. Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 While there has been no shortage of commentary on the fact that Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin kept Trump at an arm's length, most of the speakers in Las Vegas leaned hard into their support of Trump. Averi Harper, ABC News, 7 Nov. 2021 Barstool has amassed a sizable fanbase with its brash brand of sports commentary, while critics have targeted the site over past sexist and racist content. Todd Spangler, Variety, 4 Nov. 2021

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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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 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on commentary

Nglish: Translation of commentary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commentary for Arabic Speakers


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