disturb

verb
dis·​turb | \ di-ˈstərb How to pronounce disturb (audio) \
disturbed; disturbing; disturbs

Definition of disturb

transitive verb

1a : to interfere with : interrupt disturbing the flow of traffic
b : to alter the position or arrangement of the items on her desk had been disturbed
c : to upset the natural and especially the ecological balance or relations of wetlands disturbed by development
2a : to destroy the tranquility or composure of The noisy lawnmower disturbed their sleep. was disturbed by his bizarre behavior
b : to throw into disorder disturbing our routine
c : alarm trying not to disturb the sleeping dogs
d : to put to inconvenience sorry to disturb you at such a late hour

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Other Words from disturb

disturber noun
disturbingly \ di-​ˈstər-​biŋ-​lē How to pronounce disturbingly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for disturb

discompose, disquiet, disturb, perturb, agitate, upset, fluster mean to destroy capacity for collected thought or decisive action. discompose implies some degree of loss of self-control or self-confidence especially through emotional stress. discomposed by the loss of his beloved wife disquiet suggests loss of sense of security or peace of mind. the disquieting news of factories closing disturb implies interference with one's mental processes caused by worry, perplexity, or interruption. the discrepancy in accounts disturbed me perturb implies deep disturbance of mind and emotions. perturbed by her husband's strange behavior agitate suggests obvious external signs of nervous or emotional excitement. in his agitated state we could see he was unable to work upset implies the disturbance of normal or habitual functioning by disappointment, distress, or grief. the family's constant bickering upsets the youngest child fluster suggests bewildered agitation. his declaration of love completely flustered her

Examples of disturb in a Sentence

I'm sorry to disturb you at such a late hour. She doesn't want to be disturbed while she's working. Don't disturb the baby when he's sleeping. The noise disturbed my concentration.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And what is happening is disturbing, to say the least. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Here's Why Britney Spears Fans Are Posting #FreeBritney All Over Social Media," 23 Apr. 2019 The stuff that disturbed me the most were the articles advising how to get a husband. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 6 Dec. 2018 This could allow conservationists to count and monitor wildlife without disturbing it, but also throws up large amounts of data which requires handling. Helena Pozniak, Popular Mechanics, "The Technology That Will Finally Stop Poachers," 26 Nov. 2018 At one point, Debby says being the target of staring, pointing, and disrespectful comments (while in character in the suit) from extras on set disturbed her. Gavin Harwin, Teen Vogue, "Debby Ryan on "Insatiable," Mental Health, and the Pressure of Hollywood," 18 Aug. 2018 The mark stands as a world record, until someone is disturbed enough to try and break it. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Ultrarunning Hall of Fame," 29 June 2018 Fans were equally impressed and disturbed by Stone's epic transformation. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "A Makeup Vlogger Transformed Himself Into Stormi Webster, and People Are Creeped Out," 18 Apr. 2019 The leader of one of the most powerful democracies in the world publicly admiring multiple brutal dictators, even if sometimes his comments seem to be made in jest, is disturbing. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump says he and Kim Jong Un “fell in love” over denuclearization letters," 30 Sep. 2018 Trump’s Muslim ban was disturbing, but did not directly impact their lives. Suzy Hansen, The New Republic, "“What Difference Is Trump for Us?”," 24 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for disturb

Middle English disturben, destourben, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French destorber, from Latin disturbare, from dis- + turbare to throw into disorder, from turba disorder — more at turbid

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Statistics for disturb

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disturb

The first known use of disturb was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for disturb

disturb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disturb

: to stop (someone) from working, sleeping, etc. : to interrupt or bother (someone or something)
: to worry or upset (someone)
: to change the position, arrangement, or order of (something)

disturb

verb
dis·​turb | \ di-ˈstərb How to pronounce disturb (audio) \
disturbed; disturbing

Kids Definition of disturb

1 : to interfere with : interrupt Don't disturb him while he's working.
2 : to change the position or arrangement of
3 : upset entry 1 sense 1, worry I am very disturbed by your behavior.
4 : to make confused or disordered disturb the peace

disturb

transitive verb
dis·​turb

Legal Definition of disturb

1 : to destroy the tranquillity or composure of
2 : to throw into disorder

intransitive verb

: to cause disturbance
disturb the peace
: to cause a disturbance

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More from Merriam-Webster on disturb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disturb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disturb

Spanish Central: Translation of disturb

Nglish: Translation of disturb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disturb for Arabic Speakers

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