com·​mo·​tion | \ kə-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce commotion (audio) \

Definition of commotion

1 : a condition of civil unrest or insurrection The commotion was finally brought to an end and peace was restored.
2 : steady or recurrent motion the commotion of the surf
3 : mental excitement or confusion … startled … into no ordinary state of commotion.— Arnold Bennett
4a : an agitated disturbance : to-do the commotion caused by the president's visit
b : noisy confusion : agitation The commotion backstage had brought the play to a stop.

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Examples of commotion in a Sentence

There was a sudden commotion when the actress entered the restaurant. the commotion created when the nation's top rock band arrived in town

Recent Examples on the Web

The commotion of the airport frightened Batulo at first. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, "Trump's travel ban stranded her. Then America welcomed her.," 28 Mar. 2018 For all of the commotion over fashion’s major model makeovers on the runways these days, there’s something to be said for sticking to a signature look. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "The Evolution of Donatella Versace’s Va-Va-Voom Beauty Look—From Blonde to Blonder," 2 Dec. 2018 The federal government as soon as this month is expected to clarify some more specifics that observers predict will truly trigger a commotion in the world of high finance. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The new hotness for tech billionaires? Do-gooder investments they can write off on their taxes.," 16 Oct. 2018 Noise-cancelling headphones to block out the slot-machine commotion. WSJ, "Las Vegas McCarran International Airport: Insiders’ Tips for Flights to and From LAS," 14 Nov. 2018 Not since Sam carried Frodo on his back up that smoldering mountain has a ring caused so much commotion. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Everything you need to know about Prince Harry’s sleep tracker fitness ring," 19 Oct. 2018 Tehran is doing its own investigation of the commotion and the allegedly tardy arrival of Paris police, the news agency said. Fox News, "Iranian Embassy in Paris damaged; Tehran knocks police work," 15 Sep. 2018 Finch, who was not playing video games with Barriss, came out of his home after hearing the commotion of police officers who were surrounding his home. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Wichita cop won't face charges for fatally shooting innocent man in swatting hoax," 12 Apr. 2018 In the commotion, Mr. Lindquist’s car struck someone in the mob, who wasn’t injured. Andy Ngo, WSJ, "Anarchy Breaks Out in Portland, With the Mayor’s Blessing," 3 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commotion.' 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 commotion

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commotion

Middle English, from Anglo-French commocion, from Latin commotion-, commotio, from commovēre — see commove

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Statistics for commotion

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for commotion

The first known use of commotion was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of commotion

: noisy excitement and confusion


com·​mo·​tion | \ kə-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce commotion (audio) \

Kids Definition of commotion

: noisy excitement and confusion : turmoil

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Comments on commotion

What made you want to look up commotion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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