Simple Definition of disturb
: to stop (someone) from working, sleeping, etc. : to interrupt or bother (someone or something)
: to worry or upset (someone)
: to change the position, arrangement, or order of (something)
Full Definition of disturb
1 a : to interfere with : interrupt <disturbing the flow of traffic> b : to alter the position or arrangement of <the items on her desk had been disturbed> c : to upset the natural and especially the ecological balance or relations of <wetlands disturbed by development>
2 a : to destroy the tranquillity or composure of <the noisy lawnmower disturbed their sleep> b : to throw into disorder c : alarm d : to put to inconvenience <sorry to disturb you at such a late hour>
: to cause disturbance
Examples of disturb
I'm sorry to disturb you at such a late hour.
She doesn't want to be disturbed while she's working.
Don't disturb the baby when he's sleeping.
The noise disturbed my concentration.
Origin of disturb
Middle English disturben, destourben, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French destorber, from Latin disturbare, from dis- + turbare to throw into disorder, from turba disorder — more at turbid
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of disturb
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up disturb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).