Definition of disorder in English:


Syllabification: dis·or·der
Pronunciation: /disˈôrdər


  • 1A state of confusion: tiresome days of mess and disorder
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    • In fact, from the moment her family jumped in the car to go on their yearly camping trip, her life was full of chaos, disorder and confusion.
    • Looking at the current list, with almost every line scribbled out and switched around, there remains considerable disorder and confusion among the students.
    • Judging by Andy's experience, the Greek courts are a forum for disorder and confusion.
    untidiness, disorderliness, mess, disarray, chaos, confusion; clutter, jumble; a muddle, a shambles
  • 1.1The disruption of peaceful and law-abiding behavior: recurrent food crises led to periodic outbreaks of disorder
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    • The White Paper anticipated that it would be used as the most usual charge in relation to serious outbreaks of public disorder.
    • He said Gardaí were stretched from their commitments in policing the EU presidency, combating public disorder and fighting terrorism.
    • The operation has led to four arrests for public disorder, breach of an anti-social behaviour order and of a defendant who missed court.
    unrest, disturbance, disruption, upheaval, turmoil, mayhem, pandemonium; violence, fighting, rioting, lawlessness, anarchy; breach of the peace, fracas, rumpus, ruckus, melee
  • 1.2 Medicine A disruption of normal physical or mental functions; a disease or abnormal condition: eating disorders an improved understanding of mental disorder
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    • What is achieved by concluding that schizophrenia and other functional mental illnesses are disorders of the brain?
    • My Dad always thought I had some sort of disorder where my eyes confused themselves or something.
    • Any sportsman who experienced warning symptoms such as fainting during training or with a family history of sudden death should be screened an tested for signs of cardiac disorder.


[with object] (usually as adjective disordered) Back to top  
  • 1Disrupt the systematic functioning or neat arrangement of: she went to comb her disordered hair his sleep is disordered
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    • Her hair was disordered but she wouldn't care this day, nor had she cared any other day.
    • Her hair was tangled and disordered, forming wispy curls towards the front.
    • The Forum helped blacks clean up their increasingly disordered neighborhoods and point their children toward success.
  • 1.1 Medicine Disrupt the healthy or normal functioning of: a patient who is mentally disordered
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    • The present policy dividing inpatient care of mentally disordered prisoners between the prison service and the NHS needs reconsideration.
    • The dentition is normally disordered in three separate ways and I'll give them each a D word so you can remember it.
    • We have seen it with antidepressants in adults and methylphenidate in behaviourally disordered children.
    dysfunctional, disturbed, unsettled, unbalanced, upset


late 15th century (as a verb in the sense 'upset the order of'): alteration, influenced by order, of earlier disordain, from Old French desordener, ultimately based on Latin ordinare 'ordain'.

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