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.

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 Soon the commotion of the freeway traffic will fade. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Aug. 2022 When the commotion delayed the restart of the match by a few minutes, Maloney approached to step between SAFC’s fans and the Galaxy bench, trying to calm his supporters. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 31 July 2022 Although Lipa didn’t directly address the incident while on stage, videos posted online show her with a slightly confused expression on her face as the commotion started. Thania Garcia, Variety, 28 July 2022 The commotion quieted only recently, after the Royal Society dropped its investigation and Dr. Cooper and Dr. Nola chose to resign as fellows. New York Times, 1 June 2022 The commotion this year made one thing clear to Ashraf, who is Muslim: his annual Ramadan-only menu of halal specials would have to stay, year-round. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 But more than ever so slightly moving the ground, the commotion crescendoed to dangerous noise levels. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 The commotion has to do with the creation of a dedicated corporate vehicle that would sit atop the Twitter ownership pyramid under the direct control of Musk himself. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 22 Apr. 2022 Tejeta was driving home after dropping his son at daycare when the commotion unfolded around him: Police officers were flooding into the street, halting traffic and making space for first responders. Theresa Waldrop, CNN, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Commotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for commotion


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

Kids Definition of commotion

: noisy excitement and confusion : turmoil

More from Merriam-Webster on commotion

Nglish: Translation of commotion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commotion for Arabic Speakers


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