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

Yellowstone National Park is once again warning visitors of the dangers of disturbing wildlife at the park. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Yellowstone Urges Guests to Use 'Common Sense' After New Video Shows Man Petting a Park Bison," 8 Aug. 2019 This type of reward can reinforce the practice of disturbing wildlife for the sake of a photo. Ali Wunderman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why People Keep Trying to Pet Animals at National Parks," 7 Aug. 2019 Advertising Petzing, speaking for herself and not her organization, said what disturbs her the most is the way kids are separated from their support systems. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "‘I didn’t know where to look for him’: ICE ships kids across the country to Pacific Northwest jails," 5 Aug. 2019 Doctors have also observed this acceleration of cancer in humans with tissue-disturbing ailments such as inflammatory bowel disease. Robert Gatenby, Scientific American, "Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use," 3 Aug. 2019 The workshops will focus on plant identification, including seasonal indicators, nontoxic methods for controlling unwelcome invaders and ways to eradicate exotic plants without disturbing native flora that benefits songbirds and other wildlife. cleveland.com, "Upcoming workshops help large landowners control invasive plants without chemicals," 1 Aug. 2019 Carp are sensitive to noise, so when a boat motor disturbs the water, the fish leap out of the water. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "Kentucky is using 'shocking' boats to show just how bad its Asian carp problem is," 31 July 2019 DeHaven said people shouldn't have to worry about someone disturbing their loved one's grave. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, "Hope in the graveyard: Toppled tombstones stir people's best after vandals do their worst," 29 July 2019 The firmer, undisturbed soil of the trench walls was relatively easy to tell apart from the looser, disturbed soil that had filled in the trench later. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archeologists confirm near-legendary tale of crusaders’ siege of Jerusalem," 24 July 2019

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

15 Aug 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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