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Commentary definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

1. A comment; exposition; explanation; illustration of difficult and obscure passages in an author.
2. A book of comments or annotations.
3. A historical narrative; a memoir or particular transactions, as the commentaries of Cesar.
COMMENTARY, v.t. To write notes upon.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a written explanation or criticism or illustration that is added to a book or other textual material; "he wrote an extended comment on the proposal" [syn: comment, commentary]

Merriam Webster's

noun (plural -taries) Date: 15th century 1. a. an explanatory treatise — usually used in plural b. a record of events usually written by a participant — usually used in plural 2. a. a systematic series of explanations or interpretations (as of a writing) b. comment 2 3. a. something that serves for illustration or explanation <the dark, airless apartments and sunless factories…are a sad commentary upon our civilization — H. A. Overstreet> b. an expression of opinion

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. -ies) 1 a set of explanatory or critical notes on a text etc. 2 a descriptive spoken account (esp. on radio or television) of an event or a performance as it happens. Etymology: L commentarius, -ium adj. used as noun (as COMMENT)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Commentary Com"men*ta*ry, n.; pl. Commentaries. [L. commentarius, commentarium, note book, commentary: cf. F. commentaire. See Comment, v. i.] 1. A series of comments or annotations; esp., a book of explanations or expositions on the whole or a part of the Scriptures or of some other work. This letter . . . was published by him with a severe commentary. --Hallam. 2. A brief account of transactions or events written hastily, as if for a memorandum; -- usually in the plural; as, Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(commentaries) 1. A commentary is a description of an event that is broadcast on radio or television while the event is taking place. He gave the listening crowd a running commentary... That programme will include live commentary on the England-Ireland game. N-VAR 2. A commentary is an article or book which explains or discusses something. Mr Rich will be writing a twice-weekly commentary on American society and culture. N-COUNT 3. Commentary is discussion or criticism of something. The show mixed comedy with social commentary... = comment N-UNCOUNT: also a N, with supp

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

kom'-en-ta-ri (midhrash, "an investigation," from darash, "to search," "inquire," "explore"; the King James Version "story"): "The commentary of the prophet Iddo" (2Ch 13:22), "the commentary of the book of the kings" (2Ch 24:27). In these passages the word is not used exactly in its modern sense. The Hebrew term means "an imaginative development of a thought or theme suggested by Scripture, especially a didactic or homiletic exposition, or an edifying religious story" (Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, 5, 497). In the commentaries (Midhrashim) mentioned by the Chronicler as among his sources, the story of Abijah's reign was presumably related and elaborated with a view to moral instruction rather than historic accuracy.


M. O. Evans

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. See comment. 2. Book of comments. 3. Memoir, familiar narrative.

Moby Thesaurus

affix, allonge, analysis, annotation, apparatus criticus, appendix, coda, codicil, comment, commentation, critical review, criticism, critique, editorial, enclitic, envoi, epilogue, exegesis, footnote, gloss, infix, interlineation, interpolation, leader, leading article, marginalia, notation, note, note of explanation, notice, obiter dictum, observation, postscript, prefix, proclitic, remark, report, review, rider, running commentary, scholia, scholium, suffix, tail, word of explanation, write-up

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