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

Police went to the home after a report of a domestic disturbance, according to the release. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man draws gunfire after pointing bow at Racine police," 25 Aug. 2019 Police were called to the scene in Coconut Creek in Broward County just after 7 a.m. by a person reporting a domestic disturbance at a neighbor's home, Coconut Creek police chief Albert Arenal said at a news conference. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "A woman went to neighbor for help. Later, 2 people and a dog were dead, officer injured.," 24 Aug. 2019 He was also shot in the leg during a domestic disturbance with that previous wife. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Woman killed in Helena domestic disturbance had come to the home armed, fired first shots, police say," 23 Aug. 2019 Police were called to a possible domestic disturbance in an apartment complex. oregonlive.com, "Speeding, swerving driver was trying to impress girlfriend: Forest Grove police log," 12 Aug. 2019 Milo Box and Officer Denton Scherman from the Edmond Police Department responded to a 911 call by a woman reporting a domestic disturbance at her neighbor's house on April 29. Fox News, "Oklahoma City police say shooting of naked and unarmed teen was justified," 9 Aug. 2019 According to Elliott, the San Diego Police Department will look for violations of the law when responding to homes for other reasons, such as a domestic disturbance. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego City Council approves stricter gun-storage rules," 30 July 2019 The community’s annual report for 2018 shows 76 registered voters, five pupils in the one-room K-8 schoolhouse, four marriages, two births, one death, one arrest and a domestic disturbance. Christopher Reynoldsstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Maine’s scenic Monhegan Island is a portrait of Brigadoon mixed with L.L. Bean," 25 July 2019 Police were first called to the home around 4:15 a.m. after receiving multiple calls of a domestic disturbance in the area. Andy Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Suspect in Glendale hammer attack might flee to Mexico, police say," 22 July 2019

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

13 Sep 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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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