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, 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 Nothing cleans up ambiguity and disorder better than clear definitions. Steve H. Hanke, National Review, 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, 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, 18 Sep. 2020 Riots and disorder hurt Democratic candidates and help Republicans. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 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, 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, 27 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Keep an Eye Out — Parallel to Waltz’s farce, Quentin Dupieux takes an absurdist look at law and disorder. Armond White, National Review, 9 July 2021 The decree also forbids meetings meant to incite disorder. New York Times, 7 July 2021 When that happens, your physician may recommend using another type of autoimmune disorder treatment or even another biologic. SELF, 6 July 2021 Other authors have reenvisioned eating-disorder narratives by considering them from a critical remove. Alex Mcelroy, The Atlantic, 5 July 2021 Cokley and her parents have achondroplasia, a type of bone growth disorder that results in dwarfism. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 3 July 2021 Rumsfeld, who died on Tuesday, described chaos and disorder as freedom. Rasha Al Aqeedi, Star Tribune, 2 July 2021 In January 2021, 41 percent of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder. Alex Miller, Wired, 2 July 2021 Her primary weakness from her progressive muscle disease and connective tissue disorder are in her legs and hips and can cause a lot of cramping in her calves and hamstrings. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 30 June 2021

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

Cite this Entry

“Disorder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disorder. Accessed 24 Jul. 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


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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