com·​mo·​tion kə-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce commotion (audio)
: a condition of civil unrest or insurrection
The commotion was finally brought to an end and peace was restored.
: steady or recurrent motion
the commotion of the surf
: mental excitement or confusion
… startled … into no ordinary state of commotion.Arnold Bennett
: an agitated disturbance : to-do
the commotion caused by the president's visit
: noisy confusion : agitation
The commotion backstage had brought the play to a stop.

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 Roughly 600 people were at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre in Oceanside on Saturday morning to celebrate the team or just see what the commotion was all about. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Jan. 2024 Shocking video shows a broad daylight robbery in an upscale New York City neighborhood, where a doorman saw the commotion and came outside to scare off the thieves as onlookers stood nearby and did nothing to help the female victim. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 8 Feb. 2024 According to a 2017 statement from the Montgomery County Police Department, police were called on March 21, 2017, at 2:25 am to the Matthews’ residence after receiving a report of a loud commotion from the basement, which was where Christian lived. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 The sight of Ohtani caused a commotion in the nearby concourse, screams erupting from the mass of humanity pressed against a chain of metal security barriers. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 4 Feb. 2024 As the Borough Park commotion drew hordes of emergency responders, social media vultures went to work, misrepresenting the footage of ambulances, firefighters, and Hasidic Jewish bystanders to push propaganda about Chabad and Jewish people in general. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 2 Feb. 2024 Thinking quickly — and fearlessly — Rosie grabs the snake, frantically swinging it around at speed, before her parents, and her pet dogs, hear the commotion and run outside. Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2024 Bam Bam, 7, of Kendall is causing some commotion not only in the FYFL but across the United States via social media. Miami Herald, 31 Jan. 2024 In addition to dates at Disneyland, Kobe would send roses to Vanessa at her school, Marina High in Huntington Beach, California, and pick her up in his black Mercedes — often causing a commotion at the southern California high school, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lynsey Eidell, Peoplemag, 26 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commotion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near commotion

Cite this Entry

“Commotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​mo·​tion kə-ˈmō-shən How to pronounce commotion (audio)
: irregular or violent motion
: noisy excitement and confusion : tumult

More from Merriam-Webster on commotion

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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