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
Even with the apology, the optics here are disturbing.
All the big screen electronics cannot disturb the traditional routine of the ordinary.
Disturbed by seeing their children academically marginalized, some black parents who can afford to do so resort to private schools for their children.
And while many seem to agree that the tweets are disturbing, the social media response has been largely positive, with people thanking the department for trying to revive interest in the 33-year-old case.
Frequent washing can also disturb the skin microbiome, so rinse with only water in the a.m. 2.
Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said Tuesday that his department had arrested William Corey Godbolt in disturbing the peace, assault and domestic violence cases.
That’s the conclusion of scientists who study how heat disturbs sleep—and how projected warming is expected to make bad sleep even worse.
This video contains audio and imagery some viewers may find 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.
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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