dis·​turb·​ing di-ˈstər-biŋ How to pronounce disturbing (audio)
: causing feelings of worry, concern, or anxiety
disturbing news
a disturbing discovery
The next phase in which I had a part was even more disturbing, and infinitely more painful.Bram Stoker
disturbingly adverb
disturbingly high levels of pollution
a disturbingly familiar problem
… the texture of ordinary life and talk has taken on a disturbingly ambiguous quality … Jonathan Raban

Examples of disturbing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sight was so disturbing that ESPN declined to show replays. cleveland, 19 Sep. 2023 Yes to both questions, according to a new and disturbing decision from the National Labor Relations Board. F. Vincent Vernuccio, National Review, 19 Sep. 2023 The disturbing body camera footage was released last week. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 18 Sep. 2023 Andreas Probst, 64, died as a result of the violent crash in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports A retired police chief was killed while riding his bike when a car rammed into him, and a disturbing video appears to capture the moment a teenager deliberately crashed into the cyclist. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 18 Sep. 2023 Then detectives began interviewing Alissa’s family and friends, who shared some disturbing allegations about Michael Turney. Allie Weintraub, ABC News, 15 Sep. 2023 That mystery points to a disturbing trend, said David Kaye, a former U.N. special rapporteur who investigated the proliferation of commercial spyware during his time there from 2014 to 2020. Tim Starks, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 There's another issue that is particularly disturbing. Mike Freeman, USA TODAY, 11 Sep. 2023 Collins’s gaze is colored by pastels and knee socks, niche references, and a relatable, slightly disturbing representation of girl-slash-young-womanhood—a haunted ingenue aesthetic familiar to those of us raised on Sofia Coppola. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 7 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disturbing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of disturbing was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near disturbing

Cite this Entry

“Disturbing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disturbing. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on disturbing

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!