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 courteous little cutie at the center of all the commotion is Maya Somers, an accomplished 11-year-old actress who manipulates those around her like an adult veteran. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: ‘Bad Seed’ still a good chiller," 16 July 2019 But in the commotion no one noticed the elevator had automatically moved from the main floor to the second. Washington Post, "Home elevators have killed and injured kids for decades. Safety regulators won’t order a simple fix.," 18 July 2019 The Raptors' celebration was briefly suspended in the commotion. April Siese, CBS News, "Several people shot near Toronto Raptors rally, police say," 17 June 2019 In the commotion, a new, equally amazing idea was offered up by @FountainPenDiva: Lizzo as Ariel. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Fans Once Again Call for Lizzo to Portray Ursula in "The Little Mermaid"," 15 June 2019 The musical, which entered the night with seven nominations, centers on a teenage girl whose request to bring her girlfriend to the high-school dance causes a commotion in her small Indiana town. Ashley Lee,, "Why 'The Prom’ wanted that same-sex kiss to be on the Tonys telecast," 9 June 2019 Eric Roboch, a baker living nearby, noticed a commotion. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "‘We Don’t Need Alligators in Pittsburgh’: Spate of Reptile Escapes Confounds Police," 19 June 2019 Other neighbors described their confusion after hearing a commotion Sunday night and seeing flashing lights. Megan Cassidy,, "Man kills four people in San Jose before turning the gun on himself," 24 June 2019 The arrest affidavit says that shortly before the shooting on June 15, a person in the building reported hearing a commotion in Chang’s apartment and saw the female victim throwing clothing into the hallway. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Police say killing in Capitol Hill apartment was result of feud between acquaintances," 20 June 2019

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

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce commotion (audio) \

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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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