dis·​or·​der·​ly | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈȯrd-ər-lē How to pronounce disorderly (audio) , (ˌ)diz-\

Definition of disorderly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a disorderly manner



Definition of disorderly (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from disorderly


disorderliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disorderly

Synonyms: Adjective

anarchic (also anarchical), lawbreaking, lawless, unruly

Antonyms: Adjective

law-abiding, orderly

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Examples of disorderly in a Sentence


She was charged with being drunk and disorderly. He was found guilty of disorderly conduct.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Disturbing the peace, Valley Forge Drive: On June 26, police were dispatched to a Valley Forge Drive residence regarding a disorderly drunk woman. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Drunk mother arrested for disturbing the peace: Parma Heights Police Blotter," 11 July 2019 Police investigating an initial report of an assault encountered a group of disorderly individuals. Lisa M. Bolton, Washington Post, "Prince William crime report," 10 July 2019 And beyond America’s trade wars, the threat of a disorderly British withdrawal from the European Union and a continuing slowdown in China pose further risks to international activity. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Global Recession Risks Are Up, and Central Banks Aren’t Ready," 9 July 2019 This marks the second week in a row that the office has cracked down on drunken and disorderly behavior. William Langhorne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office cracks down on public intoxication in parks for 2nd weekend in a row," 8 July 2019 Video shows a February 2019 encounter between Volodymyr Zhukovskyy and police responding to a call of a disorderly customer at a Denny's restaurant. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "What we know about the truck driver who killed 7 motorcyclists in New Hampshire," 28 June 2019 The threat of a disorderly rupture with the EU hangs over Britain’s economy, which appears to have shrunk in March and April, in part because carmakers halted production after the original Brexit deadline. The Economist, "The Tories are throwing away their reputation for economic prudence," 14 June 2019 Like Borat, the online world is profane and disorderly and constantly agitated; the wife, on the other hand, is imagined as sacred, eternal, controlled. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "Please, My Wife, She’s Very Online," 5 June 2019 Michals remains aggressively idiosyncratic, the curator of his own overstuffed, beguiling, disorderly imagination. The New York Review of Books, "Jed Perl," 9 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of disorderly


1560, in the meaning defined above


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for disorderly

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Time Traveler for disorderly

The first known use of disorderly was in 1555

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More Definitions for disorderly



English Language Learners Definition of disorderly

: causing a problem especially in a public place by making a lot of noise, behaving violently, etc.
: not neat or orderly


dis·​or·​der·​ly | \ dis-ˈȯr-dər-lē How to pronounce disorderly (audio) \

Kids Definition of disorderly

1 : not behaving quietly or well : unruly disorderly students
2 : not neat or orderly a disorderly desk

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More from Merriam-Webster on disorderly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disorderly

Spanish Central: Translation of disorderly

Nglish: Translation of disorderly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on disorderly

What made you want to look up disorderly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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