dis·​or·​der | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈȯr-dər How to pronounce disorder (audio) , (ˌ)diz- \
disordered; disordering; disorders

Definition of disorder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to disturb the order of
2 : to disturb the regular or normal functions of



Definition of disorder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : lack of order clothes in disorder
2 : breach of the peace or public order troubled times marked by social disorders
3 : an abnormal physical or mental condition a liver disorder a personality disorder

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Examples of disorder in a Sentence

Verb be careful not to disorder the carefully arranged contents of the dresser Noun The mayor is concerned that a rally could create public disorder. problems of crime and social disorder Millions of people suffer from some form of personality disorder.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes sincere people wonder how the Church succeeds in doing so much genuine good in the world, what with so much human frailty and even disorder at every level. Nr Symposium, National Review, "Men of Heroic Virtue Can Live in the World Today — Andrew Walther Did," 6 Dec. 2020 Beijing has also found news of U.S. disorder a convenient distraction from its own domestic problems. Washington Post, "China had mocked Trump for not taking the pandemic seriously. Now it's very personal.," 3 Oct. 2020 Nothing cleans up ambiguity and disorder better than clear definitions. Steve H. Hanke, National Review, "Hanke’s Inflation Dashboard: The Media’s Misreporting on Hyperinflation," 7 Oct. 2020 Barrett, a textualist who was working for a textualist, Justice Antonin Scalia, had the ability to bring logic and order to disorder and complexity. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "Amy Coney Barrett is supremely well qualified for the high court," 28 Sep. 2020 The president has been effective in stirring fears about crime and disorder nationally, according to the Times/Siena polls and others this month. Emily Badger, New York Times, "Women in Suburbia Don’t Seem Too Worried About Its Destruction," 18 Sep. 2020 Riots and disorder hurt Democratic candidates and help Republicans. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The “Law and Order” Backlash Against Biden Was a Mirage," 4 Sep. 2020 The order for long-term care facilities includes nursing homes, homes for the aged, adult foster care facilities, hospital facilities, substance abuse disorder residential facilities, independent living facilities and assisted living facilities. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan partially lifts order barring nursing home visits during pandemic," 30 June 2020 Police in the English city of Liverpool have been given more powers to break up crowds after celebrations to mark Liverpool Football Club’s first league title in 30 years led to disorder. Washington Post, "UK police to get tougher on crowds amid pandemic worries," 27 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Underlying the policy arguments was the belief that the armed citizen—the proverbial Good Guy With a Gun—was a bulwark against anarchy and disorder. Rachel Monroe, Wired, "I Am Not a Soldier, but I Have Been Trained to Kill," 15 Jan. 2021 Having a healthy relationship with drinking means different things to different people, and while there’s a popular view that recovery from alcohol and drug use disorder requires complete sobriety, the reality is a bit more nuanced. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "Do I Have a Drinking Problem?," 11 Jan. 2021 Cleveland had two more positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday — including one for an assistant coach — throwing its schedule into disorder as the team gets ready to play Pittsburgh on Sunday with a spot in the playoffs riding on the outcome. Tom Withers, ajc, "Browns close facility, delay practice after 2 positive tests," 30 Dec. 2020 In later decades, however, Mr. Rice struggled with muscle tension dysphonia, a disorder that contracts muscles around the vocal cords and can even halt speech. Washington Post, "Tony Rice, guitarist who brought a touch of jazz to bluegrass, dies at 69," 29 Dec. 2020 Elder has been diagnosed with paranoia, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder, Carr testified. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Connecticut woman facing murder charge found incompetent to stand trial," 28 Dec. 2020 Do not crowd the streets, avoid chaos, prevent disorder and havoc. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dayhoff: New Westminster train station opened Dec. 26, 1895," 25 Dec. 2020 Tennessee has been an outlier, specifically making its entire intellectual development disorder population a priority, citing its own studies that the death rate for this group is 3½ times higher, according to a state official. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, "Covid-19 Is Deadlier for People With Autism, Down Syndrome. Now Families Are Pushing Hard for Vaccines.," 23 Dec. 2020 There is not an official diagnosis for gaming disorder in the U.S., but there may be one soon. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "How much gaming is too much during COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what a pediatrician says about increased screen time," 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disorder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disorder


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for disorder

Time Traveler

The first known use of disorder was in the 15th century

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Statistics for disorder

Last Updated

14 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disorder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disorder. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for disorder



English Language Learners Definition of disorder

: a confused or messy state : a lack of order or organization
: a state or situation in which there is a lot of noise, crime, violent behavior, etc.
medical : a physical or mental condition that is not normal or healthy


dis·​or·​der | \ dis-ˈȯr-dər How to pronounce disorder (audio) \
disordered; disordering

Kids Definition of disorder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to disturb the regular or normal arrangement or functioning of You've disordered my papers.



Kids Definition of disorder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a confused or messy state His room was in complete disorder.
2 : unruly behavior Recess monitors prevented any disorder.
3 : a physical or mental condition that is not normal or healthy a stomach disorder
dis·​or·​der | \ (ˈ)dis-ˈȯrd-ər, (ˈ)diz- How to pronounce disorder (audio) \
disordered; disordering\ -​ˈȯrd-​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce disorder (audio) \

Medical Definition of disorder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to disturb the regular or normal functions of



Medical Definition of disorder (Entry 2 of 2)

: an abnormal physical or mental condition : ailment an intestinal disorder a nervous disorder

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