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 continued until about 9 p.m. with protesters hurling objects, including a folding chair, at police officers, who responded by shoving individuals into the crowd. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "Park Police, FBI search for protesters who tried to topple statue of Andrew Jackson near White House," 25 June 2020 Gray heard yells and advanced, curious to see what all the commotion was about. USA Today, "These Black teens are turning 18 in Tamir Rice’s America," 22 June 2020 Trout make a lot of commotion rising to salmonflies. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, "The 6 Best Western Trout Rivers to Fish During the Salmonfly Hatch," 16 June 2020 The point was to disturb the peace, to cause commotion and strife. John Patrick Leary, The New Republic, "Freeing Protest From the Language Police," 10 June 2020 Lovell escorted the father from the game without creating a commotion and later gave him a ride home. oregonlive, "Behind-the-scenes cop brings strong community ties to his role as Portland’s new police chief," 9 June 2020 Michael heard the commotion from around the corner and met her there. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "This Couple Said 'I Do' In Philadelphia During The Black Lives Matter Protest," 8 June 2020 Aguirre took a picture of Joseph that's been shared widely on social media, but didn't get his name in all the commotion. David Williams, CNN, "To make a different kind of statement, a high school grad went to a protest in the cap and gown he didn't get to wear," 2 June 2020 Save for the occasional bear or bobcat sighting, there’s rarely much commotion in the rugged hills of Napa Valley’s Atlas Peak area. Esther Mobley,, "Vineyards versus vernal pools: On Napa’s Atlas Peak, a neighbors’ dispute turns ugly," 22 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for commotion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for commotion

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for commotion


How to pronounce commotion (audio)

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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