a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.
any confused, disorderly mass: a chaos of meaningless phrases.
the infinity of space or formless matter supposed to have preceded the existence of the ordered universe.
(initial capital letter) the personification of this in any of several ancient Greek myths.
Obsolete. a chasm or abyss.
The first meaning in English was “an immeasurable and formless void, infinite darkness,” especially in reference to the state that preceded God’s Creation of the universe. The current meaning “a state of utter confusion and disorder (resembling the primordial state)” first appeared about 1533.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use chaos in a sentence
Amid the chaos, Robinhood and other trading platforms blocked investors from purchasing GameStop for a time, and then set limits to the number of shares customers could purchase.Robinhood lifts GameStop restrictions as U.S. markets close in on best week since November | Hamza Shaban | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
In Chandrasekar’s paintings, chaos and order don’t merely coexist but actually harmonize.In the galleries: Exploring the tension between physical and digital art | Mark Jenkins | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
He clutched law enforcement tight as he argued that his presidency was in essence the only barrier between order and chaos.Some police deaths are more worrisome to Fox News than others | Philip Bump | February 3, 2021 | Washington Post
Dev Patel’s turn in “The Personal History of David Copperfield” might have been somewhat overlooked by viewers at home due to the film being released amid pandemic chaos, but Andy Samberg certainly caught their attention with Hulu’s “Palm Springs.”Golden Globe nominations 2021: ‘The Crown’ leads TV nominations while ‘Mank’ dominates movies | Emily Yahr, Bethonie Butler, Sonia Rao | February 3, 2021 | Washington Post
Last week, broad anxiety over the consequences of the market chaos and worrying economic data fueled widespread losses.GameStop shares tumble as Big Tech reasserts market dominance | Hamza Shaban, Hannah Denham | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
He needed his art because, offstage, the chaos was sometimes too much.How Richard Pryor Beat Bill Cosby and Transformed America | David Yaffe, Scott Saul | December 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The excitement of the event and everything else was just chaos, so you're suddenly like: 'Actually it's a boy in the end.'
Jackson was a poor disciplinarian whose classroom often seemed on the edge of complete chaos.
Perhaps, as one cardinal recently complained, the chaos is the plan.
Meanwhile, their Missouri hometown appears to be on the brink of chaos.
There's Madame Ratignolle; because she keeps up her music, she doesn't let everything else go to chaos.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Take all the little fishergirls away from Paris—from the Quartier Latin—and you would find chaos and a morgue!The Real Latin Quarter | F. Berkeley Smith
On coming into London, we found the streets in a condition of chaos, owing to repairs in the pavement.British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car | Thomas D. Murphy
The combined forces of Sheridan and Wright attacked the troops of Early and drove them from the area in great chaos.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia | Dorothy M. Torpey
I had to make, of course, another expedition to Jaffery's chambers, in order to restore to order the chaos that Doria had made.Jaffery | William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for chaos
complete disorder; utter confusion
(usually capital) the disordered formless matter supposed to have existed before the ordered universe
- chaotic (keɪˈɒtɪk), adjective
- chaotically, adverb
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
Scientific definitions for chaos
The behavior of systems that follow deterministic laws but appear random and unpredictable. Chaotic systems very are sensitive to initial conditions; small changes in those conditions can lead to quite different outcomes. One example of chaotic behavior is the flow of air in conditions of turbulence. See more at fractal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for chaos
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.