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

Other Words from disturb

disturber noun
disturbingly \ di-​ˈstər-​biŋ-​lē How to pronounce disturb (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 Hug was extremely careful not to disturb anything underwater, in order to preserve any evidence from what could be a decades-old crime scene. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Nov. 2021 Memory foam mattresses provide exceptional pressure relief, gently cushion your curves, and isolate motion so your sleep partner's movements don't disturb you during the night. Jillian Mueller, PEOPLE.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Patty clung to these quiet hours, refused to let anything disturb them. Karen Brown, The Atlantic, 31 Aug. 2021 Though their friendship blossoms, both must tread carefully in each other’s lives so as not to disturb the peace and social standing each has established. Emily Maskell, Vulture, 3 Nov. 2021 Do not hide anything from your customers, even things that might disturb them, such as information related to privacy policies, data management ... Xavier Preterit, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Physicists have gotten very good at shielding their quantum experiments from anything in the environment that would disturb them. Katie Mccormick, Quanta Magazine, 25 Oct. 2021 In the meantime, the goal was stability—avoiding anything that could disturb the process of deconfliction as the parties learned patience and trust. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 As the story went, the pair had fallen asleep together on a mat and, upon waking, the emperor cut the sleeve off his robe rather than disturb his lover. NBC News, 18 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for disturb

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near disturb

distune

disturb

disturbance

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Statistics for disturb

Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disturb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disturb. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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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 tranquility or composure of
2 : to throw into disorder

intransitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on disturb

Nglish: Translation of disturb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disturb for Arabic Speakers

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