- When you mess up a perfect arrangement of vases and put them all out of alignment, this is an example of disturb.
- When you wake up a person who is sleeping, this is an example of disturb.
- to break up the quiet or serenity of; agitate (what is quiet or still)
- to upset mentally or emotionally; make uneasy or anxious
- to break up the settled order or orderly working of: to disturb the books on a shelf
- to break in on; interrupt
- to inconvenience: if I call later, will I be disturbing you?
Origin of disturbMiddle English distourben ; from Old French distourber ; from Classical Latin disturbare, to drive asunder ; from dis-, intensive + turbare, to disorder ; from turba, a crowd, mob: see turbid
transitive verbdis·turbed, dis·turb·ing, dis·turbs
- To break up or destroy the tranquility, order, or settled state of: “Subterranean fires and deep unrest disturb the whole area” (Rachel Carson).
- To trouble emotionally or mentally; upset: It disturbed me when you left without saying goodbye.
- a. To interfere with; interrupt: noise that disturbed my sleep.b. To intrude on; inconvenience: Constant calls disturbed her work.
- Physics To alter or displace a region of (a medium) from its equilibrium state.
Origin of disturbMiddle English distourben, from Old French destourber, from Latin disturbare : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin turbare, to agitate (from turba, confusion, probably from Greek turb&emacron;).
(third-person singular simple present disturbs, present participle disturbing, simple past and past participle disturbed)
- to confuse a quiet, constant state or a calm, continuous flow, in particular: thoughts, actions or liquids.
- The noisy ventilation disturbed me during the exam.
- The performance was disturbed twice by a ringing mobile phone.
- A school of fish disturbed the water.
- to divert, redirect, or alter by disturbing.
- A mudslide disturbed the course of the river.
- The trauma disturbed his mind.
- (intransitive) to have a negative emotional impact; to cause emotional distress or confusion.
- A disturbing film that tries to explore the mind of a serial killer.
- His behaviour is very disturbing.
- (obsolete) disturbance