dis·​rupt | \ dis-ˈrəpt How to pronounce disrupt (audio) \
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 or less commonly disruptor 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 The 2020-21 school year will end June 18 at the earliest, if instructional days are not disrupted by inclement weather. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, "Before or after Labor Day? Maryland school boards debate 2020-21 calendar start date," 11 Nov. 2019 This once-stable carbon cycle has been disrupted by our acceleration of the return of carbon to the surface by digging up and burning massive amounts of hydrocarbons: oil, gas, and coal. National Geographic, "Earth's rocks can absorb a shocking amount of carbon: here’s how," 24 Oct. 2019 Long lines formed at gas stations as people tried to fill up for a coming workweek with a public transport system disrupted by the destructive protests. Eva Vergara, USA TODAY, "Three dead in fires at looted supermarkets as violence and protests rage in Chile," 21 Oct. 2019 But in the history of American diplomacy, presidential plans are often disrupted by unforeseen events. Colin Dueck, National Review, "What Is Conservative American Nationalism?," 21 Oct. 2019 Long lines formed at gas stations as people tried to fill up for a coming workweek with a public transport system disrupted by the destructive protests. Time, "Chile Violence Continues Despite Government's Retreat on Fare Hike," 21 Oct. 2019 With pitching plans disrupted by a rainout earlier this week, both teams plan all-bullpen efforts in Game 6. Ronald Blum, The Denver Post, "DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Hicks lift Yanks over Astros, close to 3-2 in ALCS," 19 Oct. 2019 Point 72 Ventures, the venture arm of the hedge fund founded by Steven Cohen, thinks traditional banks won’t be disrupted by the unicorns. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "As neobank valuations bubble up, some investors think there’s an even better bet in fintech," 18 Oct. 2019 Even if demand isn’t disrupted by another Brexit hiatus or an election, there is the potential for discounts running from the end of November through to the holiday. Washington Post, "U.K. Shoppers Will Win This Christmas," 18 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for disrupt

Time Traveler

The first known use of disrupt was in 1793

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Statistics for disrupt

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Disrupt.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disrupt?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=disrup01. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for disrupt


How to pronounce disrupt (audio)

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 How to pronounce disrupt (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disrupt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disrupt

Spanish Central: Translation of disrupt

Nglish: Translation of disrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disrupt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disrupt

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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