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

The jacked caused a commotion on social media, which Trump responded to by tweet., "First Lady Wears 'I Really Don't Care' Jacket to Child Detention Center Visit," 22 June 2018 Older people were irritated by the noise and commotion of children; children resented the lack of freedom. Nan Randall, The Atlantic, "'Charlottesville': A Government-Commissioned Story About Nuclear War," 25 Jan. 2018 The commotion isn't clear from any of the bodycam angles. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Milwaukee police stepped on Sterling Brown's ankle, mocked him, bodycam footage shows," 6 June 2018 As his kidnapper became momentarily distracted by the commotion of people walking down the street, the then-22-year-old wheeled around and kicked the hand holding the gun. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Paralyzed fighting guerrillas in Venezuela, he graduated a star student-athlete at UTA | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 17 May 2018 Eric Van Tielen plays the young cop sent to see what all the commotion is about. David Lyman,, "Wanna see 'Clue' onstage? 'Murder For Two' might be for you," 11 May 2018 Momma wren was somewhat disturbed by all this commotion. Ernie Cowan Outdoors,, "Watching this miracle is television series of season," 21 Apr. 2018 The commotion was a reminder of the vital role that deal-making plays for drug companies seeking a quicker boost to sales than risky research and development can provide. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Fast-Growing Shire PLC Had Pharmaceutical Rivals in a Takeover Frenzy," 19 Apr. 2018 Cosby seemed startled by the commotion as a half-dozen protesters chanted at him. Michael R. Sisak,, "Bill Cosby's $3.4M settlement: Evidence of guilt or greed?," 10 Apr. 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

7 Nov 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of commotion

: noisy excitement and confusion : turmoil

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a private place of worship

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