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[kom-uh n-ter-ee] /ˈkɒm ənˌtɛr i/
noun, plural commentaries.
a series of comments, explanations, or annotations:
a commentary on the Bible; news followed by a commentary.
an explanatory essay or treatise:
a commentary on a play; Blackstone's commentaries on law.
anything serving to illustrate a point, prompt a realization, or exemplify, especially in the case of something unfortunate:
The dropout rate is a sad commentary on our school system.
Usually, commentaries. records of facts or events:
Commentaries written by Roman lawyers give us information on how their courts functioned.
Origin of commentary
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English commentaries (plural) < Latin commentārium notebook, noun use of neuter of commentārius, equivalent to comment(um) comment + -ārius -ary
Related forms
[kom-uh n-tair-ee-uh l] /ˌkɒm ənˈtɛər i əl/ (Show IPA),
supercommentary, noun, plural supercommentaries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for commentary
  • He does not so much brag about his achievements as offer a running commentary about the wonder of being himself.
  • It's not everyday that insect folks provide commentary on art.
  • You're welcome to check them all out and root for your favorites by leaving lavish commentary.
  • Radio reporters held microphones toward the commentary coming from the sets.
  • Your dogs have owners, cats have staff commentary is so true.
  • The back of the taxi or match box commentary is rife.
  • My work is not so much a direct commentary as it is an open-ended observation of the absurdities around us.
  • Unless it is commentary intended to either expand awareness, or invoke strong feelings of misanthropy.
  • Both episodes intersperse commentary from paleontologists with computer-generated restorations of the dinosaurs.
  • His political and social commentary catered to the bawdy tastes of the time.
British Dictionary definitions for commentary


/ˈkɒməntərɪ; -trɪ/
noun (pl) -taries
an explanatory series of notes or comments
a spoken accompaniment to a broadcast, film, etc, esp of a sporting event
an explanatory essay or treatise on a text
(usually pl) a personal record of events or facts: the commentaries of Caesar
Derived Forms
commentarial (ˌkɒmənˈtɛərɪəl) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for commentary

1530s, from Middle French commentaire, or directly from Latin commentarius "notebook, annotation; diary, memoir," noun use of adjective, "relating to comments," from commentum (see comment (n.)). Perhaps the Latin noun is short for volumen commentarium. Originally in English as an adjective (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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