from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A condition of turbulent motion.
  • n. An agitated disturbance; a hubbub: heard a commotion in the hall.
  • n. Civil disturbance or insurrection; disorder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A state of turbulent motion.
  • n. An agitated disturbance or a hubbub.
  • n. sexual excitement

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Disturbed or violent motion; agitation.
  • n. A popular tumult; public disturbance; riot.
  • n. Agitation, perturbation, or disorder, of mind; heat; excitement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A violent movement or agitation: as. the commotion of the sea.
  • n. Hence Tumult of people; political or social disturbance; turbulence; disorder; sedition; insurrection.
  • n. Mental agitation; perturbation; disorder of mind; excitement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a disorderly outburst or tumult
  • n. the act of making a noisy disturbance
  • n. confused movement


Middle English commocioun, from Old French commotion, from Latin commōtiō, commōtiōn-, from commōtus, past participle of commovēre, to disturb : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + movēre, to move; see meuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin commōtiōnem, accusative singular of commōtiō, from commōtus, perfect passive participle of commoveō. (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.