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 Again, this is to not disturb your classmates during a key part of class — experts often say savasana is the most important and challenging pose in yoga. The Washington Post, The Know, "The 12 dos and don’ts of yoga class," 7 Sep. 2019 Scientists say a large and unusually warm mass of water is threatening to disturb the marine ecosystem along the Pacific Coast from Southern California to Alaska. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: In the Carolinas, a hurricane rages on," 6 Sep. 2019 Rocket launches don't seem to disturb the local fauna, which tend to hide out during blast off and then resume daily lives. Robert Ormerod, National Geographic, "Why the Apollo missions made Florida synonymous with space," 16 July 2019 Always expect to be disturbed, defiled and maybe even delighted. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "Brilliant ‘Midsommar’ lets the sunshine in to horror," 4 July 2019 Without tourists to disturb the wildlife, native plants and animals rebounded, and even the local community grew stronger. NBC News, "After a year without tourists, Kauai's rugged coast reopens," 20 June 2019 Be gentle with your herbs and try not to disturb the delicate root ball when repotting. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Plant an Indoor Herb Garden," 12 Mar. 2019 Lurie had complained to police that the noise was disturbing their bereavement rooms. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Thousands of workers at 26 Chicago hotels went on strike in September 2018. A year later, at one hotel they’re still walking picket lines.," 12 Sep. 2019 Use it around camp and to read at night without disturbing your tent mates. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 8 Best Headlamps of 2019," 30 Aug. 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

24 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce disturb (audio)

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
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on disturb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disturb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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