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 Everybody in our programs, particularly spring sports, had their season disrupted. oregonlive, "As NCAA tackles complexities in granting additional eligibility to spring sports athletes whose seasons were cut short due to coronavirus, SEC plans to introduce ‘alternatives’ to equivalency model," 18 Mar. 2020 The fight against the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the lives of millions of Americans, with some of its biggest cities closing schools, theaters, bars and restaurants, with the exception of take-out service. CBS News, "Coronavirus shutdowns spread across U.S. as death toll rises to 80," 16 Mar. 2020 The capability of remote work software platforms is also being put to the test as COVID-19 continues to disrupt daily life. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Is Zoom ready for most of America to work online?," 13 Mar. 2020 Obdurate students, insisting that everyone be admitted for free to higher education, have disrupted university entrance exams. Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, "Chile: Notes from a Revolt," 13 Mar. 2020 Yet the questions go well beyond mass events and voting and will only get more challenging the longer the virus continues to disrupt social contact. Lisa Lerer, New York Times, "How the Coronavirus Changed the 2020 Campaign," 12 Mar. 2020 Earthquakes have disrupted other major gatherings, such as the 1989 World Series in San Francisco. Alfred Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby may be delayed due to the coronavirus. What would that mean to the city?," 12 Mar. 2020 Currently, school closures in over a dozen countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak have disrupted the education of at least 290.5 million students worldwide, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Kelly Mccarthy, ABC News, "The global impact of coronavirus on education," 5 Mar. 2020 However, the Internet has disrupted global politics so rapidly, and regulators have been so slow to adjust to the new reality, that there weren’t many relevant laws to break. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Man Behind Trump’s Facebook Juggernaut," 2 Mar. 2020

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

21 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disrupt. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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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

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