Definition of disturb
1a : to interfere with : interrupt disturbing the flow of trafficb : to alter the position or arrangement of the items on her desk had been disturbedc : to upset the natural and especially the ecological balance or relations of wetlands disturbed by development
2a : to destroy the tranquility or composure of The noisy lawnmower disturbed their sleep. was disturbed by his bizarre behaviorb : to throw into disorder disturbing our routinec : alarm trying not to disturb the sleeping dogsd : to put to inconvenience sorry to disturb you at such a late hour
: to cause disturbance
disturbinglyplay \-ˈstər-biŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples of disturb in a Sentence
I'm sorry to disturb you at such a late hour.
She doesn't want to be disturbed while she's working.
Don't disturb the baby when he's sleeping.
The noise disturbed my concentration.
Recent Examples of disturb from the Web
The party also started to use pettier charges, such as disturbing public order, against its critics.
The death of the 17-year-old student who was described as loving and caring disturbed the girls.
That nest and another nearby also showed signs of being disturbed by ATV tracks and some bootprints.
Even then, hand-pulling weeds can disturb dormant seeds and create more weeds, which can pose a threat to individuals with allergies and asthma, officials said.
Theoretically, even if entangled objects are separated, their precarious quantum states should remain linked until one of them is measured or disturbed.
Laguna is charged with misdemeanor disturbing the peace, while Romero’s charges include two felony counts of assault on an officer.
But the party’s call for a cautious separation from the European Union could disturb some of her Conservatives even more.
Even with the apology, the optics here are disturbing.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disturb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of disturb
Synonym Discussion of disturb
DISTURB Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of disturb for English Language Learners
: to stop (someone) from working, sleeping, etc. : to interrupt or bother (someone or something)
: to worry or upset (someone)
: to change the position, arrangement, or order of (something)
DISTURB Defined for Kids
Definition of disturb for Students
Word Root of disturb
The Latin word turba, meaning “disorder,” gives us the root turb. Words from the Latin turba have something to do with disorder. To disturb is to cause disorder to something or to someone's feelings. To perturb, or trouble, is to cause disorder to someone's mind. Anything turbulent is in a state of violence or disorder.
Legal Definition of disturb
1 : to destroy the tranquillity or composure of
2 : to throw into disorder
: to cause disturbance
disturb the peace
: to cause a disturbance
Seen and Heard
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