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

Other Words from disturb

disturber noun
disturbingly \ di-​ˈstər-​biŋ-​lē How to pronounce disturb (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.
Recent Examples on the Web No drinking, smoking or drugs are allowed, and they are asked not to disturb nearby residents. cleveland, 17 May 2022 Whatever confinement is devised, there is always the potential that a human might disturb or undercut the confinement and allow the AI to escape. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Self-serve snacking that won't disturb others watching the film. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 27 Apr. 2022 From there, the scientists detail the best date and time to send such a message, including the angle of the sun that will least disturb the broadcast as well as the best time for Earth’s atmosphere. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 4 Apr. 2022 Boating: Boats make waves that disturb the marsh habitat where birds nest. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 1 Apr. 2022 Probably the best thing to have is a method of watering that doesn’t disturb your plants or displace them while growing. Jennifer Konerman, Sunset Magazine, 30 Mar. 2022 When increased shelling starts to disturb the hives, Sergey loads them into his Lada and starts driving from town to town, eventually making his way to Crimea. Jennifer Wilson, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Mostly out of focus in the clip, Keoghan’s Joker is scarred and disheveled, his appearance likely to disturb even the most hardcore fans. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for disturb

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near disturb

distune

disturb

disturbance

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Statistics for disturb

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disturb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disturb. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for disturb

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 tranquility or composure of
2 : to throw into disorder

intransitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on disturb

Nglish: Translation of disturb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disturb for Arabic Speakers

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