1 of 2


dis·​or·​der·​ly (ˌ)dis-ˈȯrd-ər-lē How to pronounce disorderly (audio)
: in a disorderly manner


2 of 2


: engaged in conduct offensive to public order
charged with being drunk and disorderly
: characterized by disorder
a disorderly pile of clothes
disorderliness noun

Example Sentences

Adjective She was charged with being drunk and disorderly. He was found guilty of disorderly conduct.
Recent Examples on the Web
The offensive behaviors may be specific to the company in question; alcohol brands commonly include contractual clauses forbidding D.U.I. arrests or drunk and disorderly behavior among their representatives, said Mr. Chase. Patrick Coffee, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 Police were called to the Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach after reports that Dragun was acting in a disorderly fashion. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 9 Nov. 2022 She was also given a disorderly misconduct charge and a public intoxication charge, according to her lawyer. Erica Y King, ABC News, 8 Nov. 2022 The shopper was placed under arrest, charged with DUI, disorderly intoxication and possession of open container and turned over to the Brevard County Jail where he was held in lieu of $3,000 bond. Madeleine Marr Miami Herald (tns), al, 29 July 2022 Watching people turn their once-disorderly refrigerators into streamlined, triumphant displays. Wendy Vazquez, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Oct. 2022 On March 27, officers arrested the actor in Hawaii over a disorderly patron call alleging Miller yelled obscenities in a bar, grabbed a microphone from a woman and lunged at a man playing darts, according to the Hawaii Police Department. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2022 The prospect of Russia’s elite acting against Putin seems remote, but Russia has a history of disorderly regime change, as in 1917 and 1991. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2022 The consequences of disorderly policy reach bottom to top. Carine Hajjar, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1560, in the meaning defined above


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disorderly was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near disorderly

Cite this Entry

“Disorderly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disorderly. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



: not behaving quietly or well : upsetting public order : unruly
disorderly persons
disorderly conduct
: not neat or orderly
a disorderly mass of papers
disorderliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disorderly

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.