Definition of disrupt in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪsˈrʌpt/


[with object]
1Interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem: flooding disrupted rail services
More example sentences
  • It only defers its end by disrupting the social event with which it begins.
  • The contest became a target in 1970 when women protesters disrupted the event.
  • Arrangements also have to be made for visitors to view it, without disrupting the daily activities of the embassy.
throw into confusion, throw into disorder, throw into disarray, cause confusion/turmoil in, play havoc with, derange, turn upside-down, make a mess of;
disturb, disorder, disorganize, disarrange, interfere with, upset, unsettle, convulse;
interrupt, suspend, discontinue;
obstruct, impede, hamper;
hold up, delay, retard, slow (down)
British informal throw a spanner in the works of
North American informal throw a monkey wrench in the works of
1.1Drastically alter or destroy the structure of: alcohol can disrupt the chromosomes of an unfertilized egg
More example sentences
  • Applying an irritant chemical to the membrane disrupts the ordered structure: the dye is released and the globular proteins undergo conformational changes.
  • In the shaken solution - which disrupts spatial structure - the ancestral morph persisted solitarily.
  • A hydronium ion, however, disrupts this structure because it can accommodate a maximum of three hydrogen bonds.
distort, damage, buckle, warp;
break open/apart, shatter, split, sever, cleave, split asunder
literary rend
archaic sunder, rive



Pronunciation: /dɪsˈrʌptə/
(also disruptor) noun
Example sentences
  • And the marchers need their own monitors to practice nonviolent discipline and contain any disruptors - who are, de facto, not misguided friends but opponents.
  • Some business is better conducted, some plans better made, when there's no worry about journalists, disruptors, or even potential new recruits.
  • The United States has also tinkered with dazzlers of its own, though its focus is apparently more on short-range disruptors that can be attached to rifles.


Late Middle English: from Latin disrupt- 'broken apart', from the verb disrumpere.

  • corrupt from Middle English:

    Corrupt comes from Latin corrumpere ‘mar, bribe, destroy’, from cor- ‘altogether’ and rumpere ‘to break’. Also from rumpere are disrupt (Late Middle English) ‘break apart’; eruption (Late Middle English) a breaking out; interrupt (Late Middle English) ‘to break between’. See words at rut

Words that rhyme with disrupt

abrupt, corrupt, erupt, interrupt, irrupt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|rupt

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