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[kon-ster-ney-shuh n] /ˌkɒn stərˈneɪ ʃən/
a sudden, alarming amazement or dread that results in utter confusion; dismay.
Origin of consternation
1605-15; < Latin consternātiōn- (stem of consternātiō). See consternate, -ion
bewilderment, alarm, terror, fear, panic, fright, horror.
composure, equanimity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for consternation
  • To her consternation, she realized she was in over her head.
  • Aleck caused consternation to his father by his lack of interest in his studies.
  • The vehemence of the crackdown has provoked consternation among some members of the public.
  • One area that has been a cause of consternation for many is when to start postpartum contraception.
  • He added there is consternation across the country on the size of boards.
  • Reduced response time as a result of this unprecedented amount of traffic no doubt caused consternation among some users.
  • Attempts to accommodate them caused consternation among the unions.
British Dictionary definitions for consternation


a feeling of anxiety, dismay, dread, or confusion
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 consternation

1610s, from French consternation "dismay, confusion," from Latin consternationem (nominative consternatio) "confusion, dismay," from consternat-, past participle stem of consternare "overcome, confuse, dismay, perplex, terrify, alarm," probably related to consternere "throw down, prostrate," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sternere "to spread out" (see stratum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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