• Noun

pandemonium

pan-duh-MOH-nee-uhm

Context
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Sheer pandemonium and chaos broke out when the third graders noticed that the class boa constrictor was not in its cage. The teacher could not control or lessen the screaming that followed in such disorderly pandemonium. Finally, when the pandemonium and unruly uproar died down, the teacher could finally explain that the boa constrictor was at the vet, not lost in the classroom, and would be back on Tuesday.

Quiz: What is an example of pandemonium?

  • An unexpected fire drill that causes chaos and confusion among hundreds of students.
  • A large audience that applauds for several minutes upon the conclusion of a Shakespeare play.
  • An orderly group of runners participating in a race that takes them through downtown Chicago.
Definition

Memory Hook
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Demon Panic When the three-horned, red-skinned, and horribly grinning demon walked into the crowded room, all the people were thrown into an immediate panic, which increased into complete pandemonium when another demon appeared through the other door to the room ... and made sure both doors were locked.

Examples
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  • Now I see these images replay in my hometown of Chicago: clashes in the Loop, State Street scuffles, pandemonium on the North Side. —Christian Science Monitor
  • The term [Black Friday] is often credited to Philadelphia’s policemen, who used it to describe the pandemonium caused by suburban shoppers and tourists thronging the city ahead of the annual Army-Navy American-football game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. —The Economist

Word Ingredients
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pan- all
demon spirit, divine power
-um forms a singular Latin noun

Pandemonium originally referred to the home or capital of all the demons or evil spirits that inhabited hell, who were not particularly interested in being calm or law-abiding.

Word Theater
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YouTube: Celebrity TV Shopping pandemonium!
Pandemonium

Word Constellation
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Pandemonium