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 Save for the occasional bear or bobcat sighting, there’s rarely much commotion in the rugged hills of Napa Valley’s Atlas Peak area. Esther Mobley,, "Vineyards versus vernal pools: On Napa’s Atlas Peak, a neighbors’ dispute turns ugly," 22 Jan. 2020 Sara Rivest was reporting for NBC affiliate WAVE 3 in Louisville about the Bourbon and Beyond festival on Friday when three men started making a commotion around her. NBC News, "Kentucky reporter Sara Rivest kissed on live TV says: 'This is not OK'," 26 Sep. 2019 Some believe this is recorded in the Book of Josephus ... that a commotion had been recorded in the Temple. The Rev. Ellin Dize,, "Dize: Walking in the shoes of Jesus isn’t easy," 20 Sep. 2019 Indianapolis Star There’s a commotion coming from IU softball coach Shonda Stanton’s front yard. Tyler Tachman, Indianapolis Star, "‘It really got us through the quarantine’: IU softball coach Shonda Stanton unified a neighborhood," 12 May 2020 Finally, the sound of wooden cowbells announced the reason for the simian commotion. Peter Terzian, Travel + Leisure, "In Kenya, an Epic Photographic Safari Through Some of Africa's Most Dramatic Landscapes," 18 Apr. 2020 The commotion drew neighbors and police to the entrance of the school, employees later recalled about the incident, which occurred earlier this year. ProPublica, "How a School Stopped Relying on Restraining and Isolating Students — and What Others Can Learn From It," 13 Apr. 2020 Two men walking by notice the commotion and one of them steps up to grab a pack. John D'anna, azcentral, "Coronavirus in Arizona: One reporter's quest to understand why people are panic-buying toilet paper," 15 Mar. 2020 This involved a sheriff, a police helicopter, and other commotion. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Our Friend Martha," 12 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for commotion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for commotion

Last Updated

5 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for commotion


How to pronounce commotion (audio)

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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