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
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

Trump replaced him with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who reportedly came to Trump’s attention because of his anti-Mueller commentary during appearances on cable TV. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "McConnell just said there’s no need for a “protect Mueller” bill. Trump already made that look silly.," 15 Nov. 2018 Part talk-show, part feminist comedy, hosts Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff splice their witty commentary into retellings of each episode’s central murder. Allie Volpe, Teen Vogue, "10 Best Crime Podcasts," 30 Aug. 2018 Getty ImagesWPA Pool For more celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Royal Family Christmas Card Photos Are Spectacular," 14 Dec. 2018 Plus, commentary by Sadie Adams, director of education for the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Kavanaugh, Ford face the hot seat in Supreme battle; Kavanaugh a victim of mistaken identity?," 28 Sep. 2018 Or commentary from living legends like Marlena Shaw, Bobbi Humphrey, Cassandra Wilson, Rachelle Ferrell or Dianne Reeves? Maiysha Kai, The Root, "Tribeca Film Festival 2018: A New Film on Blue Note Records Takes Us Beyond the Notes," 27 Apr. 2018 Beyond commentary videos, other YouTubers re-uploaded the clip in solidarity with Shirrako, while others petitioned YouTube executives to take another look at the case. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "YouTube reverses ban for streamer who killed Red Dead 2 feminist," 8 Nov. 2018 Both Harry and Meghan have recorded audio commentary for a new exhibition which has just opened up at Windsor Castle, which looks back at their wedding day and features both Meghan’s dress and her tiara on public display. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Revealed How He Helped Meghan Markle to Choose Her Wedding Day Tiara," 26 Oct. 2018 Along similar lines, removing shameful commentary is important. SELF, "7 Ways Experts and Influencers Can Make Their Nutrition Advice More Inclusive," 16 Oct. 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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Statistics for commentary

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


involving abstract or general statements

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