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 Officers found the bodies shortly after 1 a.m. after they were called to a family disturbance in the 12600 block of Ladson Street, a neighborhood near 126th Street and Cumberland Road, the Fisher Police Department said in a news release. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Man, woman found shot to death in Fishers," 18 Mar. 2020 Police were called at 2:30 p.m. March 16 to Pierogies of Cleveland due to a disturbance between a man and a woman. cleveland, "Phone technology helps locate missing senior: Middleburg Heights Police Blotter," 18 Mar. 2020 Officers were called to the shopping center in the 1500 block of East Cedar Avenue shortly after 2 p.m. in response to a disturbance. Ryan Vlahovich, azcentral, "Flagstaff man arrested after crashing into cop car 3 times, police say," 22 Feb. 2020 Duffey was suspended a second time in 2018 after being arrested for disturbance in front of a nightclub in Lubbock, Texas. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Central Michigan football lands QB Jett Duffey after troubled tenure at Texas Tech," 19 Jan. 2020 The police had been called for a disturbance in the shelter that involved Cheryl. Jay Baruch, STAT, "‘Stuck in a tornado of life’: a patient’s chaos narrative," 15 Jan. 2020 Security was busy with a disturbance in the emergency room, leaving Melara alone with his technician coworker to cool things down. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This hospital worker used to think his singing was a 'burden.' Now he uses his voice to calm patients.," 27 Dec. 2019 Jedi and Sith sense other similar disturbances in the Force throughout the entire saga! Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Breaking Down That Shocking Rey Reveal in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 20 Dec. 2019 The disturbance caught the former vice president, once again the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination after Super Tuesday, off guard. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "'This is not a Trump rally': Biden tries to calm crowd after spate of protests at Michigan gathering," 9 Mar. 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

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disturbance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disturbance. Accessed 8 Apr. 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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