dis·​rupt | \ dis-ˈrəpt \
disrupted; disrupting; disrupts

Definition of disrupt

transitive verb

1a : to break apart : rupture three periods of faulting disrupted the rocksUniversity of Arizona Record
b : to throw into disorder demonstrators trying to disrupt the meeting
2 : to interrupt the normal course or unity of disrupted a bridge game by permanently hiding up the ace of spades …— Scott Fitzgerald can disrupt an industry with new technology

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Other Words from disrupt

disrupter also disruptor noun
disruption \ dis-​ˈrəp-​shən \ noun
disruptive \ dis-​ˈrəp-​tiv \ adjective
disruptively adverb
disruptiveness noun

Examples of disrupt in a Sentence

The barking dogs disrupted my sleep. The weather disrupted our travel plans. a chemical that disrupts cell function
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Recent Examples on the Web

Air traffic at Gatwick, England’s second largest airport, was disrupted when a drone was spotted flying in the area on Wednesday, prompting the airport to suspend flights through Friday. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "UK police arrest two in connection with Gatwick Airport drone shutdown," 22 Dec. 2018 As the Journal Sentinel reported last week, that contract ending also disrupted the city's family planning services. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Women left waiting for cancer screenings after Milwaukee Health Department stopped providing services," 10 July 2018 Those numbers will change to reflect exemptions granted to Iran, Venezuela and Libya, these people said, since sanctions, unrest and underinvestment have already disrupted production in those countries. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Saudis to Cut More Oil Than Planned as OPEC Drums Up Pact," 20 Dec. 2018 There’s a struggle for land in Mana Pools; not just because of predators lurking in certain parts, but also because some humans have disrupted the environment. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "BBC Earth's "Dynasties" Pulls at Heartstrings With the Painted Wolves’ Fight for Survival," 12 Dec. 2018 More broadly, Chinese commentators have suggested Beijing also could disrupt diplomatic work over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs or other initiatives. San Antonio Express-News, "China’s options to hit US go beyond imports," 9 July 2018 The local debates over what to do with ICE facilities come at a time when federal immigration policies are disrupting local politics. Simon Romero, BostonGlobe.com, "Cities Cut Government Contracts for Immigrant Detention as Protests Grow," 28 June 2018 How to Invent Everything is a non-fiction book in a sci-fi framework, imaging a world of mostly peaceful time travel, with each leap into the past creating its own parallel universe that won’t disrupt our main timeline. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Here's a Guide for Reinventing the World If Your Time Machine Gets Stuck in the Past," 18 Sep. 2018 That’s defined as no more than two drinks a day for a man and one a day for a woman (zero if pregnant, because alcohol disrupts fetal development). Joel Achenbach, The Seattle Times, "A huge clinical trial collapses, and research on alcohol remains befuddling," 6 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disrupt.' 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 disrupt

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for disrupt

Latin disruptus, past participle of disrumpere, from dis- + rumpere to break — more at reave

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Statistics for disrupt

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disrupt

The first known use of disrupt was in 1793

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More Definitions for disrupt



English Language Learners Definition of disrupt

: to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)


dis·​rupt | \ dis-ˈrəpt \
disrupted; disrupting

Kids Definition of disrupt

1 : to cause disorder in disrupted the class
2 : to interrupt the normal course of Barking dogs disrupted my sleep.

Other Words from disrupt

disruption \ dis-​ˈrəp-​shən \ noun
disruptive \ -​ˈrəp-​tiv \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on disrupt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disrupt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disrupt

Spanish Central: Translation of disrupt

Nglish: Translation of disrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disrupt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disrupt

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


to gather or build up little by little

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