Definition of perturb in English:

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Pronunciation: /pərˈtərb/


[with object]
1Make (someone) anxious or unsettled: they were perturbed by her capricious behavior [with object and clause]: they were perturbed that the bank had begun switching some of its problem loans
More example sentences
  • There are, probably, two principal concerns that will be perturbing the potential visitor.
  • She was not perturbed by the low attendance, insisting that most people on the street supported her position.
  • What perturbs me though is the complete lack of value I have received from my taxes, that I have faithfully paid towards public health over the years.
worry, upset, unsettle, disturb, concern, trouble, disquiet;
disconcert, discomfit, unnerve, alarm, bother, distress, dismay, gnaw at, agitate, fluster, ruffle, discountenance
informal rattle, throw
worried, unsettled, disturbed, concerned, troubled, upset, anxious, ill at ease, uneasy, disquieted, fretful;
disconcerted, discomposed, distressed, unnerved, alarmed, bothered, dismayed, agitated, flustered, ruffled, shaken, discountenanced
informal twitchy, rattled, fazed, unstrung
2Subject (a system, moving object, or process) to an influence tending to alter its normal or regular state or path: nuclear weapons could be used to perturb the orbit of an asteroid
More example sentences
  • Drugs perturb the system through increasing or decreasing transmission or transmitter levels, or up or down regulating receptor populations.
  • It could change the heating structure of the atmosphere and perturb the climate system in ways we don't understand now.
  • In this way, we see that the two systems engage in an exchange, a feedback loop of information and effect, which serves to further change or perturb each system.





Pronunciation: /ˈpərtərˌbātiv/ Pronunciation: /pərˈtərbətiv/
sense 2.
Example sentences
  • In the perturbative expansion of a gauge theory, large numbers of Feynman amplitudes combine to produce mathematically simple expressions.
  • His logic, however, would have deprecated the early remarkable successes of perturbative quantum electrodynamics.
  • Such measurements can then be compared with predictions of perturbative QCD, a relatively tractable corner of the full theory.




Late Middle English: from Old French pertourber, from Latin perturbare, from per- 'completely' + turbare 'disturb'.

  • trouble from Middle English:

    Our word trouble comes, by way of Old French truble, from Latin turbidus ‘disturbed, turbid’, source of turbid (early 17th century), and related to disturb (Middle English), perturb (Late Middle English), and turbulent (mid 16th century). From the start, in the 13th century, it meant ‘difficulty or problems’. ‘Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward’ is from the biblical book of Job who was a virtuous man that God tested by sending him many troubles. Most people now think of the Troubles in Northern Ireland as beginning in the early 1970s, but the same term applied to the unrest around the partition of Ireland in 1921, and in an 1880 glossary of words used in Antrim and Down the Troubles are defined as ‘the Irish rebellion of 1641’. The first troubleshooters had a very specific occupation. In the early years of the 20th century they mended faults on telegraph or telephone lines.

Words that rhyme with perturb

acerb, blurb, curb, disturb, herb, kerb, Serb, superb, verb

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: per·turb

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