Simple Definition of perturb
: to cause (someone) to be worried or upset
Examples of perturb in a sentence
It perturbed him that his son was thinking about leaving school.
<the caller's strange remark perturbed me enough to keep me awake that night>
Did You Know?
With its per- prefix, perturb meant originally "thoroughly upset", though today the word has lost most of its intense edge. Perturb and perturbation are often used by scientists, usually when speaking of a change in their data indicating that something has affected some normal process. When someone is referred to as imperturbable, it means he or she manages to remain calm through the most trying experiences.
Origin and Etymology of perturb
Middle English, from Middle French perturber, from Latin perturbare to throw into confusion, from per- + turbare to disturb — more at turbid
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of perturb
PERTURB Defined for Kids
Definition of perturb for Students
: to disturb in mind : trouble greatly
Word Root of perturb
The Latin word turba, meaning “disorder,” gives us the root turb. Words from the Latin turba have something to do with disorder. To disturb is to cause disorder to something or to someone's feelings. To perturb, or trouble, is to cause disorder to someone's mind. Anything turbulent is in a state of violence or disorder.
Seen and Heard
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