- a series of comments, explanations, or annotations: a commentary on the Bible; news followed by a commentary.
- an explanatory essay or treatise: a commentary on a play; Blackstone's commentaries on law.
- anything serving to illustrate a point, prompt a realization, or exemplify, especially in the case of something unfortunate: The dropout rate is a sad commentary on our school system.
- Usually commentaries. records of facts or events: Commentaries written by Roman lawyers give us information on how their courts functioned.
Origin of commentary
- an explanatory series of notes or comments
- a spoken accompaniment to a broadcast, film, etc, esp of a sporting event
- an explanatory essay or treatise on a text
- (usually plural) a personal record of events or factsthe commentaries of Caesar
1530s, from Middle French commentaire, or directly from Latin commentarius "notebook, annotation; diary, memoir," noun use of adjective, "relating to comments," from commentum (see comment (n.)). Perhaps the Latin noun is short for volumen commentarium. Originally in English as an adjective (early 15c.).