[ kuh-moh-shuhn ]
See synonyms for commotion on
  1. violent or tumultuous motion; agitation; noisy disturbance: What's all the commotion in the hallway?

  2. 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

synonym study For commotion

1. See ado.

Other words for commotion

Other words from commotion

  • com·mo·tion·al, adjective
  • com·mo·tive, adjective

Words Nearby commotion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use commotion in a sentence

  • At this moment an extraordinary commotion began among the watches.

    Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
  • The embryo can be located by the commotion which its active motion produces among the corpuscles.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Then such a din and commotion you never heard nor saw, even on the glorious Fourth of July.

  • Incessant bugle-calls from the natives added to the commotion, and thousands of Chinese crowded into the Chinese Consulate.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • Indeed, the arrival of the American volunteers under these distressing circumstances produced a fresh commotion in Yloilo.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman

British Dictionary definitions for commotion


/ (kəˈməʊʃən) /

  1. violent disturbance; upheaval

  2. political insurrection; disorder

  1. a confused noise; din

Origin of commotion

C15: from Latin commōtiō, from commovēre to throw into disorder, from com- (intensive) + movēre to move

Derived forms of commotion

  • commotional, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with commotion


see cause a commotion.

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