Definition of consternation
: amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion the two … stared at each other in consternation, and neither knew what to do — Pearl Buck
consternation was our Word of the Day on 10/01/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of consternation in a Sentence
The fact that the exact depth was recorded on the bottles was the source of considerable consternation among the admirals presiding over the Navy inquiry last week. The depth an attack sub can reach is supposed to be classified … . —Karen Breslau et al., Newsweek, 2 Apr. 2001
In the grimy market-places where so-called friendly intelligence services do their trading, tip-offs, like money, are laundered in all sorts of ways … . They can be blown up so as to cause consternation or tempered to encourage complacency. —John le Carré, Granta 35, Spring 1991
The King was relaxing; his face had softened. Awful, to have to banish this hard-earned peace, burden him with a fresh worry. But better he should hear it from his loyalest baron, his own brother, than have the news blurted out to him by some idiot agent avid to cause a maximum of consternation. —Colleen McCullough, The First Man in Rome, 1990
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.
Recent Examples of consternation from the Web
The gaming results have caused some consternation amongst AMD fans, with many expecting far better performance from what is currently the company's best graphics card.
Long ball and wifs — Rangers’ home runs and strikeouts have been an appropriate source of much excitement and consternation through the first half.
Early this month, McNamara, who entered the league with a mullet and became recognizable (and renowned) for his long locks, cut his hair short, to the consternation of both fans and teammates.
There has been considerable after-the-fact consternation about the Heat bypassing Devin Booker in the 2015 draft.
FIFA's introduction of Video Assistant Referees to official competition has drawn the ire, confusion and consternation of many.
But much to the consternation of the dissenting justices, the five-member majority in Monday’s case ruled that Alabama’s treatment of James McWilliams, who was sentenced to death in 1986, did not meet even the previous standard.
Those two will cause consternation among the fan base, especially with Manson as a 25-year-old shutdown defender that’s cost efficient for now with upside.
Barber declined to alter the concerto, much to the consternation of Briselli.
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.
Did You Know?
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.
CONSTERNATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of consternation for English Language Learners
: a strong feeling of surprise or sudden disappointment that causes confusion
CONSTERNATION Defined for Kids
Definition of consternation for Students
: a strong feeling of surprise or sudden disappointment that causes confusion But then Dopey Lekisch called out in consternation, "The messenger himself will trample the treasure." — Isaac Bashevis Singer, Zlateh the Goat
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