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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rab and his colleagues work in filth, noise and disorder treating mental illness that is often compounded by poor health, physical injury, developmental disability, trauma and substance abuse. Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2022 Chief Michael LiPetri, who is in charge of crime control strategies, said that during warmer months, nearly a third of shootings are tied to disorder and low-level crime. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022 Note the order in regions (i)-(v) and disorder at points (vi)-(viii). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 Feb. 2022 What began as holiday cleanup has led to a tsunami of bringing order to disorder. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Jan. 2022 The cultural appetite for stories of illness, disease, disorder and grave old age is bottomless. New York Times, 2 Aug. 2021 The nation gaped last summer as perpetrators in full view openly smashed windows with impunity, giving all of us a view through the broken glass of what a nation surrendering to disorder looks like. George J. Terwilliger Iii, National Review, 1 Aug. 2021 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, 6 Dec. 2020 Beijing has also found news of U.S. disorder a convenient distraction from its own domestic problems. Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mental health conditions -- such as deaths linked to suicide or an overdose from a substance use disorder -- made up the plurality of deaths at 23%, the report found. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 19 Sep. 2022 Beginning last year, the office also began tracking whether beneficiaries diagnosed with opioid use disorder received medication to treat the condition or prevent overdoses. al, 17 Sep. 2022 Platt said he was prescribed buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder that helps with withdrawal symptoms. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Aug. 2022 Taking one recreational drug as treatment for over-dependence on another is hardly intuitive, but a new study found that psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, could be a promising treatment for alcohol use disorder. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 27 Aug. 2022 More young people are drinking alone as well, which can strongly increase the risk for alcohol use disorder later in life, according to a July 2022 study. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 24 Aug. 2022 Grey has begun conducting research to determine the need for programs and services to support residents of Granby who may be living with a substance use disorder, either currently or in recovery. Steve Smith, Hartford Courant, 15 Aug. 2022 Cerebral is a telemental health company that offers services—therapy, counseling, online medication prescription—based on different mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and opioid use disorder. Aparna Dhinakaran, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 But critics of this and other safer-supply initiatives reject this idea, arguing that opioid use disorder is a brain disease and one that can be effectively treated. New York Times, 26 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

10 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disorder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disorder. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for disorder


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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on disorder

Nglish: Translation of disorder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disorder for Arabic Speakers


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