What Does Causing a Commotion Mean?

Causing a Commotion Meaning

Definition: To create a disturbance.

A commotion is another way of saying chaos or craziness. When something causes a commotion, it creates danger and stirs up chaos.

Causing a commotion is usually not a good thing. Generally, it means that people are angry or loud. It could mean that things are out of order. Riots and loud, angry protests cause a commotion.

The only use of the phrase that could be positive is when people cause a commotion over a product or person. For example, when people cause a commotion over a store opening, they are getting loud and excited about going to the store.

When a new iPhone is released, Apple fans cause a commotion about the release.

Origin of Causing a Commotion

Cause a commotionCommotion comes from Latin. It was first used in the early 1500s. 

The phrase cause a commotion was used sometime later after the use of the word commotion entered English. There is no certain origin of the phrase.

People also use the word commotion in the phrase “What’s the commotion?” This phrase is a way of asking, “Why is there a disturbance?” or “Why are you fighting?” or “Why is something so loud?” People may also yell this phrase as a way to indicate that they want people to get quiet quickly.

Another similar phrase is to cause a stir. This has the same meaning of to cause a commotion.

Examples of Causing a Commotion

Caused a stir When people are loudly having an argument in an apartment hallway, they are causing a commotion. People in the apartments around them can hear the argument and will be disturbed by the loud fighting.

Young kids might also cause a commotion on the playground. If one is hurt, they may all start yelling or screaming for help. They are causing a commotion in order to get attention for the kid who has been injured.

You can cause a commotion over something that excites you, too. For example, if you are screaming with excitement at a concert, you are causing a commotion over the concert.

More Examples

  • He later told me he watched from his car because he didn’t want to get out and cause a commotion. –ABC News
  • Although Bourdain can cause a commotion in public, thanks to fans who have watched his shows for years and/or plan their vacations inspired by his travels, he doesn’t ruminate on his success… –Washington Post


The phrase cause a commotion is to be loud and to disturb those around you.