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Line breaks: dis|turb
Pronunciation: /dɪˈstəːb

Definition of disturb in English:


[with object]
1Interfere with the normal arrangement or functioning of: take the rollers out carefully so as not to disturb the curls too much
More 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.
confuse, throw into disorder/confusion, derange, get into a tangle;
unsettle, convulse, turn upside down, make a mess of
2Interrupt the sleep, relaxation, or privacy of: I’ll see my patient now and we are not to be disturbed
More 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.
interrupt, intrude on, butt in on, barge in on;
distract, interfere with, disrupt, bother, trouble, pester, plague, harass, molest
informal horn in on, hassle
3Make (someone) anxious: I am disturbed by the document I have just read
More example sentences
  • 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.


Middle English: from Old French destourber, from Latin disturbare, from dis- 'utterly' + turbare 'disturb' (from turba 'tumult').



Example sentences
  • 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.

Definition of disturb in:

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