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

The disturbance is currently disorganized, but it's expected to move toward the northeastern coast of Mexico later today. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Tropical disturbance expected to bring heavy rain to Houston starting tonight," 4 June 2019 The hurricane center said an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance this afternoon — if necessary. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Still a medium chance for tropical depression to form in the Gulf this week," 3 June 2019 Although disorganized, the tropical disturbance has a 40 percent chance of formation in the next 48 hours, National Hurricane Center meteorologists said in their 8 a.m. advisory. Stephen Ruiz, orlandosentinel.com, "Tropical disturbance expected to make landfall in Mexico today, hurricane center says," 3 June 2019 At least 17 others who had been arrested for apparently participating in anti-government protests were wounded in the prison disturbance. Gabriela Selser, The Seattle Times, "US-Nicaraguan man killed in detention served in US Navy," 18 May 2019 Construction has already begun and is scheduled to finish by the end of November. Revegetating and restoring the area after the disturbances caused by construction will begin in the spring of 2019. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Rouge River fish to get exclusive freeway at Ford's Fair Lane estate," 3 July 2018 Kurkowski did not complain of any injury, and Baird agreed to leave the residence to end the disturbance, investigators said. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, "Family seeks answers after woman hanged self in police custody," 21 June 2018 More of the disturbance is audible, then at least one or two pops are heard before the nearly three-minute call ends. Robert Moran, Philly.com, "Authorities release dramatic 911 tape, police audio of fatal shooting of Deptford shoplifting suspect," 18 June 2018 An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance Friday afternoon. Carlie Kollath Wells, NOLA.com, "Subtropical Storm Alberto forms in Caribbean, hurricane forecasters say," 25 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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Statistics for disturbance

Last Updated

7 Jun 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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