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

Deputies were called to Lolo Hot Springs at 8 p.m. Saturday because Crowley was creating a disturbance and threatening to fire a gun, Missoula County prosecutors said. Matt Volz, The Seattle Times, "Officers describe faint whimper, finding abandoned infant," 10 July 2018 Weak disturbance producing light rain in GA this am. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Cobb weekend weather & events: Expect a rainy start, highs in the 90s," 22 June 2018 Sophia Adler is accused of shooting Gigi Pierce, 28, on the sidewalk on Southwest Second Avenue during a disturbance, the Associated Press reported. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Transgender Boise woman killed in Portland 'had the biggest heart of anyone I know' | Idaho Statesman," 24 May 2018 Disorderly conduct, Coventry Road: At 7:25 p.m. May 6, police received a call about a man creating a disturbance at Dave's Cosmic Subs, 1842 Coventry Road. Jeff Piorkowski/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Man arrested for threatening store employees: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 11 May 2018 The charges of trespassing and creating a disturbance were dropped that night, but after a cell phone video of the encounter went viral, Starbucks’ cup of controversy runneth over. Karla Peterson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Revisiting Starbucks and racism," 23 Apr. 2018 And since alcohol also causes sleep disturbances, don’t forget the power of a good nap. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "The best way to bounce back from a hangover," 2 Apr. 2018 According to the report, two officers were called to the plane in response to a disturbance involving two people who refused to leave the aircraft. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Police Officer Who Removed David Dao from a United Flight Shares His Side of the Story," 25 Apr. 2017 The long-term survey shows that pandas are traveling out of the reserves and into regions of high human disturbance. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego Zoo studies return of the giant panda," 6 July 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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Statistics for disturbance

Last Updated

10 May 2019

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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 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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Comments on disturbance

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