pan·​de·​mo·​ni·​um ˌpan-də-ˈmō-nē-əm How to pronounce pandemonium (audio)
: a wild uproar (as because of anger or excitement in a crowd of people)
Pandemonium erupted in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.
The game is stopped on account of pandemonium: players and spectators are screaming and staggering around the court …Darcy Frey
also : a chaotic situation
It is obvious that pandemonium would exist at most uncontrolled airports if every pilot did not conscientiously follow the traffic pattern. Joseph W. Benkert
capitalized : the capital of Hell in Milton's Paradise Lost
capitalized : the infernal regions : hell
the demons of Pandemonium

Did you know?

When John Milton needed a name for the gathering place of all demons for Paradise Lost, he turned to the classics as any sensible 17th-century writer would. Pandæmonium, as the capital of Hell is known in the epic poem, combines the Greek prefix pan-, meaning “all,” with the Late Latin daemonium, meaning “evil spirit.” (Daemonium itself traces back to the far more innocuous Greek word daímōn, meaning “spirit” or “divine power.”) Over time, Pandæmonium (or Pandemonium) came to designate all of hell and was used as well for earthbound dens of wickedness and sin. By the late-18th century, the word implied a place or state of confusion or uproar, and from there, it didn’t take long for pandemonium to become associated with states of utter disorder and wildness.

Examples of pandemonium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Roth’s hair-raising pandemonium has a political resonance. Armond White, National Review, 29 Nov. 2023 But the young-moons story is far from certain — the sheer number of craters many display suggests that the moons have been around to experience the solar system’s pinball-like pandemonium for many an eon. Quanta Magazine, 2 Nov. 2023 Last season, reports of a shooting at the fair that was eventually ruled a false alarm caused pandemonium the night of Oct. 14. Isabella Volmert, Dallas News, 15 Aug. 2023 March 26 saw scenes of pandemonium around the globe. Jeremy White, WIRED, 6 Sep. 2023 Photos captured scenes of pandemonium, confusion and bloodshed. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 7 Oct. 2023 Baggage claim was pandemonium — luggage strewn across the floor and carousels, a few employees frantically trying to process new claims. Mary C. Meyer, STAT, 1 Aug. 2023 The whole scene is vibrant, goofy pandemonium — these are toys fighting each other with toys! Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2023 The unofficial cinephile holiday on Sunday may have ushered in an unintended consequence: teenage pandemonium. Cari Spencer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pandemonium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


pan- + Late Latin daemonium "evil spirit," borrowed from Greek daimónion "evil spirit," earlier "divine power, inferior divine being," derivative of daímōn "divinity, divine power, individual destiny" (with -ium probably to be read as Latin -ium or Greek -eion, suffixes of place) — more at demon

First Known Use

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of pandemonium was in 1667


Dictionary Entries Near pandemonium

Cite this Entry

“Pandemonium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a wild uproar : tumult

from Pandemonium, name of the place of demons in Paradise Lost by John Milton, from Greek pan- "all, every, completely" and Greek daimon "evil spirit, demon"

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