Definition of consternation
- the two … stared at each other in consternation, and neither knew what to do
- —Pearl Buck
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
The candidate caused consternation among his supporters by changing positions on a key issue.
Much to her parents' consternation, she had decided to not go to college.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consternation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Wonder what the seemingly dissimilar words prostrate ("stretched out with face on the ground"), stratum ("layer"), and stratus ("a low cloud form extending over a large area") have in common with consternation? They are all thought to share the Latin ancestor sternere, meaning "to spread" or "to strike or throw down." Much to our consternation, we cannot make that sentence definitive: while prostrate, stratum, and stratus are clearly the offspring of sternere, etymologists will only go so far as to say that consternation comes from Latin consternare—and that they have a strong suspicion that consternare is another descendent of sternere.
What made you want to look up consternation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
an inn where caravans rest at night
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