dis·tur·bance | \di-ˈstər-bən(t)s \

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

According to the probable cause affidavit, deputies were called to a disturbance at Lolo Hot Springs about 8 p.m. Saturday after Crowley had been accused of trespassing and returned allegedly threatening to fire a gun. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Montana 'Miracle' Baby: Suspect Allegedly Buried Boy in Mountains Because He Was 'Very Heavy'," 11 July 2018 Narwhals and beluga whales could be especially vulnerable because of their exposure to ships and their sensitivity to disturbances, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Adam Aton, Scientific American, "Ships Threaten Arctic Marine Mammals," 3 July 2018 The shooting happened as Rialmo and his partner responded to a domestic disturbance on the West Side in 2015. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Conflicting answer in special interrogatory upends verdict to displeasure of jury foreman," 29 June 2018 In the 2015 incident, police acknowledged that Jones — who rented a basement apartment from LeGrier’s father — was accidentally killed by Rialmo, who had been dispatched to a domestic disturbance involving LeGrier. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Jury: Chicago cop acted 'reasonably' in fatally shooting teen Quintonio LeGrier," 27 June 2018 Olathe police reported that officers took three people into custody after they were called to an armed disturbance about 11:45 p.m. Friday in the 100 block of South Clairborne Road. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "Second man charged with murder in shooting death of 17-year-old in Olathe," 19 June 2018 Gurnee Police Department officials responded to a disturbance at the park where a group of more than 15 females began using profanities and screaming. Lindsey Salvatelli, Lake County News-Sun, "Two girls in custody after Six Flags fight," 17 June 2018 Officers were called to the Barney Allis Plaza just before 5:15 p.m. in response to a disturbance. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Pair of police shootings leave 3 dead in Kansas City," 15 June 2018 According to a warrant for her arrest, Nott responded to a disturbance at an apartment on Grand Street on June 22, 2016. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "New London Police Officer Accused Of Assault Gets Probation," 3 May 2018

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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Phrases Related to disturbance

disturbance of the peace

Statistics for disturbance

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for disturbance

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

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More Definitions for disturbance



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 \

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 \

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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Comments on disturbance

What made you want to look up disturbance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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