Definitions

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

  • n. A state of paralyzing dismay. See Synonyms at fear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Amazement or horror that confounds the faculties, and incapacitates for reflection; terror, combined with amazement; dismay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Amazement or horror that confounds the faculties, and incapacitates for reflection; terror, combined with amazement; dismay.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Astonishment combined with terror; amazement that confounds the faculties and incapacitates for deliberate thought and action; extreme surprise, with confusion and panic.
  • n. Synonyms Apprehension, Fright, etc. See alarm.

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

  • n. fear resulting from the awareness of danger

Etymologies

From Latin cōnsternātiō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "What – what – what!" exclaimed Old Hurricane, gazing in consternation from the young prisoner to the accuser; "what – what! my newsboy, my saucy little prince of patches, a girl in boy's clothes?"

    The Hidden Hand

  • My brothers looked at one another in consternation, then that wily Tuscan friar, Fra Agostino da Montalcino, stepped forward, an unpleasant smile on his face.

    Excerpt: Heresy by S.J. Parris

  • He stares after Mickey in consternation as the man chases after Jack and Martha wondering just how this changes things.

    Sacrifice (5/6)

  • (Maggie laughs out loud, at which point Paula and Louise instantly stare at her in consternation with serious expressions.)

    MY KNEES (PART TWO -- SURGERY AND REHAB)

  • “O our master,” they exclaimed in consternation, “our understanding is confused, for we see him sitting on a golden mountain, which is in the midst of a sea of blood, surrounded by a copper wall.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The population were in consternation at the horrors they witnessed; death everywhere and in a horrible form.

    01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003

  • I should imagine that the word consternation would suitably describe their reaction.

    Santorini

  • More than forty years ago, Mr.T. A. Reid of the University of Toronto, and an authority on the history of the City, referred to the real estate boom at the beginning of the century, and quoted specifically the young man who came home and reported in consternation the exorbitant price for land at the corner of King and Yonge, which had just risen to $4.00 per square foot.

    Metropolitan Toronto—Planners Dilemma

  • ( "And I ..." she thought in consternation, "am responsible for this!")

    The Happy Foreigner

  • Sarah Spencer sprang out of her doze in consternation, and gazed blankly at the shrieking child.

    Further Chronicles of Avonlea

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  • "Suddenly a section of Astroturf leaped up as a trap snapped shut, narrowly missing the wolf's hind leg. The wolf yipped in consternation, frozen in place."-Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris

    May 19, 2011