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.

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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

Wyeth’s work was created at the tail-end of a movement in American art called social realism, which is marked by its commentary on the social, economic, and political situation during the Great Depression. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "Artists stopped showing us the truth about farming and it’s hurting the planet," 15 June 2019 The prophetic books do not come last so as to lead into the New Testament, but follow the Torah (the books of Moses) as commentary on it. John Barton, Time, "Judaism and Christianity Both Rely on the Hebrew Bible. Why Do They Interpret It So Differently?," 14 June 2019 Hall of Fame ambassadors lead tours of the ballpark, spicing their commentary with baseball trivia. Katherine Rodeghier,, "From scandals to milestones, an expanded museum and tours celebrate 150 years of baseball in Cincinnati," 12 June 2019 The screenings, presented by Fathom Events and cable channel Turner Classic Movies, will include commentary on the film by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "The weekend: 'Anastasia' at the Fisher, baseball exhibit at the DIA, Canton's Liberty Fest," 12 June 2019 Such Pulitzer Prize winners as Steve Benson and Nick Anderson have recently been laid off, and last year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette fired veteran cartoonist Rob Rogers, a Pulitzer finalist this year, for his anti-Trump commentary. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, "The New York Times cuts all political cartoons, and cartoonists are not happy," 11 June 2019 His profile page on WICS' website was removed after his commentary was broadcast. Eric Levenson, CNN, "A weatherman slammed his station's constant 'Code Red' warnings. It may cost him his job.," 10 June 2019 The students at the all-girl school have recently begun publishing a political journal called The Laurel Political Review, which offers commentary on a wide range of issues. Phillip Morris,, "Politicians beware, the girls of Laurel School are watching you: Phillip Morris," 9 June 2019 Actor Yudai Chiba was the host for the evening again, following his successful first two stints, keeping the crowd engaged in-between performances with his insightful commentary on pop music from the viewpoint of an avid listener. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "NOW PLAYING JAPAN LIVE Showcases androp, Official HIGE DANdism & Vickeblanka," 1 June 2019

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

21 Jun 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

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showing courage and determination

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