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[kon-ster-ney-shuh n] /ˌkɒn stərˈneɪ ʃən/
a sudden, alarming amazement or dread that results in utter confusion; dismay.
Origin of consternation
First recorded in 1605-15, consternation is from the Latin word consternātiōn- (stem of consternātiō). See consternate, -ion
bewilderment, alarm, terror, fear, panic, fright, horror.
composure, equanimity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for consternation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Great was the consternation of the Abbot when he confronted this awful apparition.

  • The consternation of the Americans it would be hard to imagine.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • By this time the consternation in the enemy's camp was all that the sorceress could desire.

  • The sailors halted and stared at each other in consternation.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • consternation filled me as I heard this terrible accusation.

    The Pilots of Pomona Robert Leighton
British Dictionary definitions for consternation


a feeling of anxiety, dismay, dread, or confusion
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 consternation

1610s, from French consternation "dismay, confusion," from Latin consternationem (nominative consternatio) "confusion, dismay," from consternat-, past participle stem of consternare "overcome, confuse, dismay, perplex, terrify, alarm," probably related to consternere "throw down, prostrate," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sternere "to spread out" (see stratum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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