com·mo·tion | \ kə-ˈmō-shən \

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

Sanders’ treatment at the restaurant has created a social media commotion with people on both sides weighing in to provide their critique of the incident. Washington Post, "Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant," 25 June 2018 Plus, remember all the commotion about people eating detergent pods? Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Emergency Responders Share 9 of the Biggest Death Traps in Your Home," 14 July 2018 Kat Lyman, co-owner of Crescent Springs, a longtime small business that has weathered downtown Overland Park's ups and downs, worried about where her customers will park during all the construction commotion. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Council OKs Edison OP, despite complaints about changing character of Overland Park," 10 July 2018 Until Riddle tripled in a run in the 6th, the loudest commotion belonged to Gomez, who felt he was hit by an Urena pitch in the second inning. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Sleep-deprived Marlins wake up late to take down Rays in 3-0 win," 4 July 2018 The victim’s daughter awoke to a commotion and witnessed her mother being pushed down a hallway by Grills. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Greendale woman feared for her life during kidnapping," 26 June 2018 Screams and commotion rise up from the famed strip. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Spoilers: What does the wild ending of 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' mean?," 24 June 2018 The woman who is trained in CPR and works in cardiology stood on the hill, watching the commotion. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Bad hop nearly took Waterford Mott player's life, but not his spirit," 3 June 2018 The dog's handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions and figured that's what set off the dog. USA TODAY, "Pride of lions eat suspected 'rhino poachers' on South African game reserve," 5 July 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

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for commotion

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

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More Definitions for commotion



English Language Learners Definition of commotion

: noisy excitement and confusion


com·mo·tion | \ kə-ˈmō-shən \

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).


the setting in which something occurs

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