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 Shortly after, the resident was located at a neighbor’s house, was unaware of any disturbance, and did not appear to be in any type of distress. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, "Ex charged with filing false reports: Avon Lake police blotter," 31 July 2020 Officers responding late Thursday to a report of a disturbance in Midtown Anchorage found a woman dead in a parking lot with signs of trauma, according to police. Anchorage Daily News, "Death of woman found in Midtown Anchorage parking lot is being investigated as a homicide," 10 July 2020 These charges come after police were dispatched to Katoch's home Friday on a report of a disturbance. Brooke Kemp, The Indianapolis Star, "IMPD officer charged with domestic battery, battery resulting in bodily injury," 8 July 2020 Two Greenville County sheriff's deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and saw a large crowd running out of the building, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a press conference. Fox News, "South Carolina nightclub shooting leaves at least 12 wounded," 6 July 2020 Two Greenville County sheriff’s deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and saw a large crowd running out of the building, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a press conference. USA TODAY, "2 dead, 8 hurt in South Carolina nightclub shooting," 6 July 2020 One police officer noticed a disturbance at the Lavish Lounge around 2 a.m. Sunday, heard gunshots, and called for emergency support. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "At least two killed and eight injured in shooting at South Carolina club," 5 July 2020 Nitrate City Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kelly Aday told The Times Daily the arrest stems from a report of a domestic disturbance on Wednesday. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Snakes, lizards saved, puppy dies in house fire, woman charged with arson," 5 June 2020 They were killed while responding to a domestic disturbance complaint, The Monitor reported. Fox News, "Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick on ambush of officers: Biden and Dems are 'aiding, abetting' an anti-police backlash," 14 July 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

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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