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[kuh-moh-shuh n] /kəˈmoʊ ʃən/
violent or tumultuous motion; agitation; noisy disturbance:
What's all the commotion in the hallway?
political or social disturbance or upheaval; sedition; insurrection.
Origin of commotion
1520-30; < Latin commōtiōn- (stem of commōtiō), equivalent to commōt(us) past participle of commovēre to commove + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
commotional, adjective
commotive, adjective
1. disorder, turmoil, tumult, riot, turbulence, bustle.
Synonym Study
1. See ado. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for commotion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The commotion of pursuit and investigation was sweeping past her tent.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Behind her she heard the commotion of many men descending the companionway.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • He had fastened it down, when a loud noise and commotion was heard in the street.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Nevertheless, what a commotion it would all cause in the parliamentary duck-pond.

  • Upstairs Dan's attention had been attracted by the commotion in front of the inn.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
British Dictionary definitions for commotion


violent disturbance; upheaval
political insurrection; disorder
a confused noise; din
Derived Forms
commotional, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin commōtiō, from commovēre to throw into disorder, from com- (intensive) + movēre to move
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for commotion

late 14c., from Middle French commocion "violent motion, agitation" (12c., Modern French commotion), from Latin commotionem (nominative commotio) "violent motion, agitation," noun of action from past participle stem of commovere "to move, disturb," from com- "together," or "thoroughly" (see com-) + movere "to move" (see move (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with commotion


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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