dis·​tur·​bance | \ di-ˈstər-bən(t)s How to pronounce disturbance (audio) \

Definition of disturbance

1 : the act of disturbing : the state of being disturbed apologized for creating a disturbance
2 : a local variation from the average or normal wind conditions

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Examples of disturbance in a Sentence

She doesn't want any more disturbances while she is studying. He reacts badly to disturbance of his daily routine. Fish are able to detect even slight disturbances in the water. Disturbance of the river's sediment causes cloudy water. Neighbors called the police to report a disturbance. They were arrested for creating a disturbance. The violence that soldiers experience in war can lead to emotional disturbance in later years.
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Recent Examples on the Web Deebo, a 5-year-old German shepherd who has worked with the Saginaw Police Department since 2016, was part of a group that responded to a domestic disturbance on Sunday that turned out to be a hostage situation, according to MLive. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'Part of the family': Officers fatally shoot man accused of stabbing police dog during hostage situation," 10 Feb. 2020 Troopers were called to a home in the Coho Loop area of Kasilof, on the western Kenai Peninsula, sometime after a 6:15 p.m. report of a shot fired during a domestic disturbance, the alert said. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Troopers fatally shoot armed man during foot pursuit on Kenai Peninsula, agency says," 30 Jan. 2020 Police had responded to that incident on a call for domestic disturbance. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, "Arrest warrant issued for Antonio Brown over alleged assault," 22 Jan. 2020 But the incident started when police were dispatched on a domestic disturbance call a block to the north, in the 9600 block of Dale Glade Drive. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "82-year-old woman who fired gun near Dallas officers mistook them for car burglars, police say," 5 Jan. 2020 Christ Brewster, 32, was shot and killed while responding to a call about a domestic disturbance, KHOU reports. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "'Hero' Texas Officer Killed During Domestic Violence Arrest, and Suspect Is on the Run," 12 Dec. 2019 Rialmo fatally shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones, an innocent bystander, while responding to a call of a domestic disturbance involving LeGrier. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Officer Robert Rialmo appeals firing by Chicago Police Board over fatal shootings of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones," 22 Nov. 2019 An Oakridge police officer shot and killed a suspect in a domestic disturbance incident Thursday, according to the Oregon State Police. oregonlive, "Suspect dies after being shot by Oakridge police officer, troopers say," 18 Oct. 2019 Police were called to a disturbance inside a condo in the 300 block of Northeast Edgeway Drive shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday. oregonlive, "Officers involved in fatal Hillsboro shooting identified," 7 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disturbance.' 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 disturbance

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for disturbance

Time Traveler

The first known use of disturbance was in the 13th century

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Statistics for disturbance

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disturbance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disturbance. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for disturbance


How to pronounce disturbance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disturbance

: something that stops you from working, sleeping, etc. : the act of disturbing someone or something
: a change in the position, arrangement, or order of something
: violent or noisy behavior especially in public


dis·​tur·​bance | \ di-ˈstər-bəns How to pronounce disturbance (audio) \

Kids Definition of disturbance

1 : the act of interrupting, changing the arrangement of, or upsetting : the state of being interrupted, changed in arrangement, or upset Fish can feel any disturbances in the water.
2 : disorder entry 2 sense 2, commotion I reported a disturbance to the police.


dis·​tur·​bance | \ dis-ˈtər-bən(t)s How to pronounce disturbance (audio) \

Medical Definition of disturbance

: the state of being emotionally disturbed

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Legal Definition of disturbance

: an interruption of peace or order specifically : an interruption of the quiet enjoyment of one's property

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