[ kon-ster-ney-shuhn ]
/ 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for consternation

British Dictionary definitions for consternation


/ (ˌkɒnstəˈneɪʃən) /


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

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