[ key-os ]
/ ˈkeɪ ɒs /


a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.
any confused, disorderly mass: a chaos of meaningless phrases.
the infinity of space or formless matter supposed to have preceded the existence of the ordered universe.
(initial capital letter) the personification of this in any of several ancient Greek myths.
Obsolete. a chasm or abyss.

Origin of chaos

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin < Greek; akin to chasm, yawn, gape

Example sentences from the Web for chaos

British Dictionary definitions for chaos

/ (ˈkeɪɒs) /


complete disorder; utter confusion
(usually capital) the disordered formless matter supposed to have existed before the ordered universe
an obsolete word for abyss

Derived forms of chaos

chaotic (keɪˈɒtɪk), adjective chaotically, adverb

Word Origin for chaos

C15: from Latin, from Greek khaos; compare chasm, yawn

Scientific definitions for chaos

[ kāŏs′ ]

The behavior of systems that follow deterministic laws but appear random and unpredictable. Chaotic systems very are sensitive to initial conditions; small changes in those conditions can lead to quite different outcomes. One example of chaotic behavior is the flow of air in conditions of turbulence. See more at fractal.

Cultural definitions for chaos


A new branch of science that deals with systems whose evolution depends very sensitively upon the initial conditions. Turbulent flows of fluids (such as white water in a river) and the prediction of the weather are two areas where chaos theory has been applied with some success.