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 Police officers in the area of the bar heard a commotion and people running away from the business and responded. oregonlive, 14 Oct. 2021 But this is the week after all the emotion and commotion for Tampa Bay in New England. Dave Hyde,, 8 Oct. 2021 One of those retrograde planets, though, may signal some extra commotion. Elizabeth Gulino,, 5 Oct. 2021 That means locking out anybody who causes a commotion. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Oct. 2021 McCarthy's first instinct made quite the commotion. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2021 While a producer subsequently told attendees the two co-hosts came back negative in another rapid test, that did not stop the unfolding commotion. Aaron Parsley,, 24 Sep. 2021 There’s also some commotion around the two tribemates sectioned off while the rest of the team heads to their base site. Joseph Longo, Vulture, 23 Sep. 2021 Both looks were equal parts cool and really f*ckin' hot, but her little green set deserves some extra commotion. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 13 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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

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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