[ kom-uh-ney-shuhn ]
/ ˌkɒm əˈneɪ ʃən /
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See synonyms for: commination / comminative / comminatory on Thesaurus.com


a threat of punishment or vengeance.
a denunciation.
(in the Church of England) a penitential office read on Ash Wednesday in which God's anger and judgments are proclaimed against sinners.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of commination

1400–50; late Middle English (<Anglo-French ) <Latin comminātiōn- (stem of comminātīo), equivalent to commināt(us), past participle of comminārī to threaten (com-com- + minārī to threaten) + -iōn--ion

OTHER WORDS FROM commination

com·mi·na·tor, nouncom·min·a·to·ry [kuh-min-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, kom-uh-nuh-], /kəˈmɪn əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈkɒm ə nə-/, com·mi·na·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for commination

British Dictionary definitions for commination

/ (ˌkɒmɪˈneɪʃən) /


the act or an instance of threatening punishment or vengeance
Church of England a recital of prayers, including a list of God's judgments against sinners, in the office for Ash Wednesday

Derived forms of commination

comminatory (ˈkɒmɪnətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin for commination

C15: from Latin comminātiō, from comminārī to menace, from com- (intensive) + minārī to threaten
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