- 1Interfere with the normal arrangement or functioning of: take the rollers out carefully so as not to disturb the curls too muchMore example sentences
- These activities not only disturb bees but also interfere with normal pollen production, germination, and fertilization.
- If this arrangement is disturbed, the body sickens; if it is sufficiently upset, the body dies.
- A small interference with nature can disturb the entire balance.
- 2Interrupt the sleep, relaxation, or privacy of: I’ll see my patient now and we are not to be disturbedMore example sentences
- They claim the children are disturbing their privacy by glaring into their homes and using the road as a cycle track.
- And no one will be able to disturb the privacy of the bathroom, as the bottom of the window is a little higher than the tub.
- But one day he disturbed her privacy and barged into her room, presumably to force more work on her, while she had it out.
- 3Make (someone) anxious: I am disturbed by the document I have just readMore example sentences
perturb, trouble, concern, worry, upset; agitate, fluster, discomfit, disconcert, dismay, distress, discompose, unsettle, ruffle, stir up; alarm, frighten, startle, shake; confuse, bewilder, perplex, confound, daze, exciteworrying, perturbing, troubling, upsetting; distressing, agitating, discomfiting, disconcerting, disquieting, unsettling, off-putting, dismaying, discomposing; alarming, frightening, threatening, startling, devastating• informal gut-wrenching
- On one occasion she asked if a neighbour would buy her some drugs, which upset and disturbed the neighbour and her young son.
- That was an anxious time, and the children were quite disturbed by it.
- The state of the world concerns and disturbs many artists.
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- At least the real disturbers aren't there, so they could do nothing without destroying anything.
- Thinking that some of my friends were disturbers of my dreams I got out of bed and rushed to the window.
- Implied was the image of a dissident, a disturber, and, by extension, a potential political threat.
Middle English: from Old French destourber, from Latin disturbare, from dis- 'utterly' + turbare 'disturb' (from turba 'tumult').