from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A state of great alarm, agitation, or dismay.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun fear resulting from the awareness of danger


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cōnsternātiō.


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  • "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 1888

  • 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 2010

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

    Sacrifice (5/6) amberfocus 2008

  • (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) Maggie Jochild 2007

  • “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 2006

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

    01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 John 2003

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

    Santorini MacLean, Alistair 1986

  • 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 1968

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

    The Happy Foreigner 1920

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

    Further Chronicles of Avonlea Lucy Maud 1920


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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