disturb

verb
dis·​turb | \ di-ˈstərb \
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 \ -​ˈstər-​biŋ-​lē \ 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

But the tranquility of this cooperative enclave is disturbed by the intrusion of some aggressive ICE agents and by the murder of a young woman grotesquely costumed as Marie Antoinette. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: When the Wheels Come Off," 25 Jan. 2019 Most notably, the CRISPR co-inventors are also disturbed by He’s move. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 22 Jan. 2019 What’s disturbing is the number of people at campaign rallies willing to join in — and add some choice epithets his way, Acosta said. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "CNN’s Jim Acosta calls for Trump to halt media attacks," 22 Oct. 2018 Everyone at KYA Swim is deeply disturbed by the allegations brought by Joia Talbott and other models about the casting event at Miami Swim Week. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Models Say They Were Turned Away From Swimsuit Casting Call for Their Skin Color," 20 July 2018 My mom was disturbed at the time and told me about in great detail. Hännah Ettinger, Houston Chronicle, "Ending an abusive marriage is hard. Ending one in the evangelical church is harder.," 12 May 2018 However, her role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. Serafin Gómez, Fox News, "White House official mocked 'dying' McCain after Haspel criticism, sources say," 10 May 2018 My lower back, which had been injured the week before, was not disturbed at all because of how supportive this bed is. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "This Bed-in-a-Box Mattress Gave Me the Best Beauty Sleep of My Life," 30 Aug. 2018 Navy's sunken military craft remain property of the U.S. regardless of their location or the passage of time and may not be disturbed without the permission from the U.S. Navy. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Navy Wreckage from WWII Discovered Off Coast of Alaska," 17 Aug. 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

14 Feb 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 \
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

Comments on disturb

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