Definition of chaos in US English:

chaos

noun

  • 1Complete disorder and confusion.

    ‘snow caused chaos in the region’
    • ‘I am whisked through the doors to a chaos of people and boxes and props on the other side.’
    • ‘Her desire to get what she wants throws her life into a chaos she may not be able to escape from.’
    • ‘That's the way to create the impression of confusion, panic and chaos.’
    • ‘The stoppage will cripple services across this region, leading to chaos for passengers.’
    • ‘Resulting restrictions and traffic chaos will throw the entire area into turmoil for up to four hours.’
    • ‘For the present it's a chaos of building and redevelopment projects spread out over a maze of roadworks.’
    • ‘Violent thunderstorms and rain caused chaos on the region's roads and railways last night.’
    • ‘You find yourself at the brink of an important change that brings emotional chaos and confusion today.’
    • ‘They thrive on disruption and chaos, and seek to complicate any chance for a negotiated solution.’
    • ‘When law and order break down in a country it must be the first step towards anarchy and chaos.’
    • ‘Road bosses are aiming to prevent a repeat of last winter's chaos when the region is plunged into deep freeze next week.’
    • ‘Snow caused commuter chaos across the region today and closed both runways at Manchester Airport.’
    • ‘His work seems to depict the confusion, guilt, uncertainty and chaos of modern life.’
    • ‘Motorists in south Essex slipped and slithered to work today as the first snow of winter caused chaos on the roads.’
    • ‘Council bosses have been urged to consider buying extra gritting vehicles after this week's snow chaos.’
    • ‘The biggest risk from a dirty bomb is the chaos and confusion caused by mass panic.’
    • ‘In a situation of total economic chaos, only a small number of profiteers have something to gain.’
    • ‘Rail chaos hit commuters early yesterday morning with delays of up to 40 minutes.’
    • ‘Department stores commonly have chaos and pandemonium on their floors, and this one was the same.’
    • ‘However, in trying to create the ideal world for just the motorist for so long, it now creates chaos and havoc for everyone.’
    disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, madness, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, furore, frenzy, uproar, hue and cry, babel, hurly-burly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Physics Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.
      • ‘By these means, the study of chaos and complexity has become a subculture within science.’
      • ‘A great example of a nonlinear system exhibiting chaos is all around you: the weather.’
      • ‘The phenomenon of chaos is still not completely understood and mathematicians work on it even today.’
      • ‘Interestingly, this view is increasingly embraced by theories of dynamical systems and chaos.’
      • ‘The thing about strange attractors is that they bring their own kind of beautiful order to chaos, but it is still chaos.’
    2. 1.2 The formless matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the universe.
      • ‘We just happen, in this picture, to be in a Universe produced by a random fluctuation within the chaos.’
      • ‘Creation stories describe in various ways the essential struggle between chaos and form.’
      • ‘They had known each other since the advent of the chaos that existed before time gave its birth cry.’
      • ‘There is, however, the universal law that brings about order out of chaos and creates harmony.’
    3. 1.3Greek Mythology The first created being, from which came the primeval deities Gaia, Tartarus, Erebus, and Nyx.
      • ‘The ordered world of her childhood had been ripped apart and she stood on the edge the Abyss and stared into the face of Chaos.’
      • ‘The greater threat is known to the Humans and is humanity's nemesis called Chaos.’
      • ‘In Greek mythology, Chaos is the goddess of emptiness and confusion who gave birth to the Universe.’

Origin

Late 15th century (denoting a gaping void or chasm, later formless primordial matter): via French and Latin from Greek khaos ‘vast chasm, void’.

Pronunciation

chaos

/ˈkeɪˌɑs//ˈkāˌäs/