Definition of disturbed 

: showing symptoms of emotional illness disturbed children disturbed behavior

Examples of disturbed in a Sentence

He seems very disturbed about his work lately.

Recent Examples on the Web

What started as a disturbed man yelling at employees inside a South Miami-Dade Wendy's restaurant this week escalated into a tense standoff with police officers, all of it caught on bystander video. David Ovalle And Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "'Get on the ground, bro!' Video shows repeated Tasers failed to stop Wendy's intruder," 7 June 2018 In 1992, a Dillingham police officer named Tony Jones died after a disturbed teenager, barricaded in a hardware store, shot him during a standoff. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "An unlikely friendship brought the daughter of a slain Dillingham police officer to Alaska," 16 June 2018 Both productions are unable to resolve the tensions that have in various ways disturbed audiences. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 2018 Experts examined the document and found that a chemical had been used to bleach the ink of the library's stamp and that the original paper fibers had been disturbed. Madison Park, CNN, "ICE returns stolen Christopher Columbus letter to Spain," 7 June 2018 After hearing the call, Jefferson Parish officers executed a search warrant on Givens' hotel room, which had not been disturbed following Givens' arrest the previous day, and found a pistol in the nightstand, court records state. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "Man gets prison time for gun in car where he was found shot," 20 Mar. 2018 Since the Bumpurs killing, officers have been trained to isolate and contain emotionally disturbed people, taking time and continuing to talk to them to persuade them to comply. Joseph Goldstein And James C. Mckinley Jr., New York Times, "Police Sergeant Acquitted in Killing of Mentally Ill Woman," 15 Feb. 2018 The show took a hiatus from 1976 to 1979 but returned partly because Rogers was so disturbed by news reports of children injuring themselves while pretending to be superheroes. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Quietly Radical Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood," 4 June 2018 The attacker then checks to see if the cache was disturbed; the measurement of that disturbance leaks information. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "As predicted, more branch prediction processor attacks are discovered," 26 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disturbed.' 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 disturbed

1904, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for disturbed

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for disturbed

The first known use of disturbed was in 1904

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More Definitions for disturbed



English Language Learners Definition of disturbed

: having or showing evidence of a mental or emotional illness

: worried and unhappy

of sleep : affected by a disturbance


dis·turbed | \di-ˈstərbd\

Kids Definition of disturbed

: showing signs of mental or emotional illness He works with emotionally disturbed patients.


dis·turbed | \dis-ˈtərbd \

Medical Definition of disturbed 

1 : showing symptoms of emotional or mental illness disturbed children disturbed behavior

2 : designed for or occupied by disturbed patients disturbed wards

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More from Merriam-Webster on disturbed

Spanish Central: Translation of disturbed

Nglish: Translation of disturbed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disturbed for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disturbed

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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