Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for consternation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A look of surprise, mingled with consternation, sprang into Grace's eyes.

  • What consternation and grief there would be throughout the world!

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • He stared in consternation at the pallid oval that stood for her face.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Temporarily dumb with consternation, he returned her stare as silently.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • All the guests were now in consternation, and everybody rose.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for consternation

Word Value for consternation

Scrabble Words With Friends