disturb

verb
dis·​turb | \ di-ˈstərb \
disturbed; disturbing; disturbs

Definition of disturb

transitive verb

1a : to interfere with : interrupt disturbing the flow of traffic
b : to alter the position or arrangement of the items on her desk had been disturbed
c : 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 behavior
b : to throw into disorder disturbing our routine
c : alarm trying not to disturb the sleeping dogs
d : to put to inconvenience sorry to disturb you at such a late hour

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Other Words from disturb

disturber noun
disturbingly \ -​ˈstər-​biŋ-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for disturb

discompose, disquiet, disturb, perturb, agitate, upset, fluster mean to destroy capacity for collected thought or decisive action. discompose implies some degree of loss of self-control or self-confidence especially through emotional stress. discomposed by the loss of his beloved wife disquiet suggests loss of sense of security or peace of mind. the disquieting news of factories closing disturb implies interference with one's mental processes caused by worry, perplexity, or interruption. the discrepancy in accounts disturbed me perturb implies deep disturbance of mind and emotions. perturbed by her husband's strange behavior agitate suggests obvious external signs of nervous or emotional excitement. in his agitated state we could see he was unable to work upset implies the disturbance of normal or habitual functioning by disappointment, distress, or grief. the family's constant bickering upsets the youngest child fluster suggests bewildered agitation. his declaration of love completely flustered her

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

My lower back, which had been injured the week before, was not disturbed at all because of how supportive this bed is. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "This Bed-in-a-Box Mattress Gave Me the Best Beauty Sleep of My Life," 30 Aug. 2018 Navy's sunken military craft remain property of the U.S. regardless of their location or the passage of time and may not be disturbed without the permission from the U.S. Navy. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Navy Wreckage from WWII Discovered Off Coast of Alaska," 17 Aug. 2018 There is, perhaps, nothing more likely to disturb the tranquillity of nations than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object that does not yield an equal and coincident benefit. Fox News Staff, Fox News, "The GOP battle for the speakership intensifies," 7 Sep. 2018 The information, updated every five minutes, enables keepers to be notified of Quincy’s status without having to disturb his sleep — and koalas love to sleep. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Quincy the San Diego Zoo's diabetic koala, gets help from Dexcom," 25 June 2018 By and large, though, each new terminal will offer little novelty to disturb your reverie. Sasha Chapin, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Airport Layovers," 29 May 2018 Maybin didn’t want to disturb Allen, who was sleeping. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "When he opened the package, it was a dream come true for this Miami Marlins player. | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Being careful not to disturb the embers, use a fireplace hook to carefully lift the lid every five minutes or so to see if the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Dutch Oven Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler," 11 May 2018 The negative feelings stirred up by the sales, which administrators have insisted will bolster teaching and capital projects central to the school’s strategic plan, continue to disturb the campus. Stephan Salisbury, Philly.com, "La Salle artworks attract mild interest at New York auction," 19 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of disturb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for disturb

Middle English disturben, destourben, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French destorber, from Latin disturbare, from dis- + turbare to throw into disorder, from turba disorder — more at turbid

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Statistics for disturb

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for disturb

The first known use of disturb was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for disturb

disturb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disturb

: 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

verb
dis·​turb | \ di-ˈstərb \
disturbed; disturbing

Kids Definition of disturb

1 : to interfere with : interrupt Don't disturb him while he's working.
2 : to change the position or arrangement of
3 : upset entry 1 sense 1, worry I am very disturbed by your behavior.
4 : to make confused or disordered disturb the peace

disturb

transitive verb
dis·​turb

Legal Definition of disturb

1 : to destroy the tranquillity or composure of
2 : to throw into disorder

intransitive verb

: to cause disturbance
disturb the peace
: to cause a disturbance

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More from Merriam-Webster on disturb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disturb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disturb

Spanish Central: Translation of disturb

Nglish: Translation of disturb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disturb for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disturb

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