disturb

verb
dis·​turb | \ di-ˈstərb How to pronounce disturb (audio) \
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 \ di-​ˈstər-​biŋ-​lē How to pronounce disturbingly (audio) \ 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

Micciche and other lawmakers were particularly disturbed at the death of Ashley Johnson-Barr, a 10-year-old girl in Kotzebue, a small town in remote western Alaska, who went missing last September. USA Today, "A deadly place: Alaska is the most dangerous state for women, now they're fighting back," 25 June 2019 What disturbed me was how students interpreted the picture, knowing nothing about it. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "A Closer Look at Rockwell’s Four Freedoms," 22 June 2019 Part of that is getting more water to seep into the soil by physically disturbing it in some way and planting more native plants in those areas — native plants that rely on Arizona’s sparse rainwater and don’t need much upkeep. AZCentral.com, "Summer storms are a spectacle, but the dust in them is hazardous to your health," 18 June 2019 Unlike a zoo, travelers can observe the animals in their spacious habitats from a strategically elevated walkway to not disturb them. National Geographic, "Electrifying places to visit if you love science," 17 June 2019 And one of those students is our narrator, who has trouble knowing how to respond to Fadigati; he is disturbed by his homosexuality and neediness, but also upset when another student repeatedly insults him. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Behind the High Walls," 10 Feb. 2019 Upon his release, police said Ledet will face charges of disturbing the peace, criminal damage and obstruction of public passage. Kim Chatelain, nola.com, "Road rage in Slidell leads to shooting: police," 27 June 2019 In May, Dosouqi was convicted of disturbing the peace on Highway 1 near Pacific for repeatedly stepping out into traffic and attempting to touch individuals inside their vehicles, Wagstaffe said Monday. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "“When we saw him, we all were shocked,” says Skyline stabbing victim’s family of suspect," 24 June 2019 Facebook has recently raised moderators’ pay; YouTube has limited their exposure to disturbing videos to four hours a day. The Economist, "The unacknowledged legislators of the online world," 14 June 2019

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

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce disturb (audio) \
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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