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perturb

[per-turb]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to disturb or disquiet greatly in mind; agitate.
  2. to throw into great disorder; derange.
  3. Astronomy. to cause perturbation in the orbit of (a celestial body).

Origin of perturb

1325–75; Middle English perturben (< Old French perturber) < Latin perturbāre to throw into confusion, equivalent to per- per- + turbāre to disturb; see turbid
Related formsper·turb·a·ble, adjectiveper·turb·a·bil·i·ty, nounper·tur·ba·tious [pur-ter-bey-shuh s] /ˌpɜr tərˈbeɪ ʃəs/, adjectiveper·turb·ed·ly [per-tur-bid-lee] /pərˈtɜr bɪd li/, adverbper·turb·ed·ness, nounper·turb·er, per·tur·ba·tor [pur-ter-bey-ter] /ˈpɜr tərˌbeɪ tər/, nounper·turb·ing·ly, adverbper·turb·ment, nounnon·per·turb·a·ble, adjectivenon·per·turb·ing, adjectiveun·per·turb·a·ble, adjectiveun·per·turbed, adjectiveun·per·turb·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. trouble. 2. confuse, addle, muddle.

Antonyms

1. pacify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perturbed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • By degrees the placid influence of her friend calmed her perturbed spirit.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Chip whispered the question in the ear of the perturbed Little Doctor.

  • Julia wilted a little; but her sister, Mrs. Glynn, was not perturbed.

    The Yates Pride

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • Plainly, Evadna was secretly laughing at her perturbed interest in the matter.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Nor had she fully relieved her mind, nor voiced all that perturbed her.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance


British Dictionary definitions for perturbed

perturb

verb (tr; often passive)
  1. to disturb the composure of; trouble
  2. to throw into disorder
  3. physics astronomy to cause (a planet, electron, etc) to undergo a perturbation
Derived Formsperturbable, adjectiveperturbably, adverbperturbing, adjectiveperturbingly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Old French pertourber, from Latin perturbāre to confuse, from per- (intensive) + turbāre to agitate, from turba confusion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for perturbed

adj.

1510s, past participle adjective from perturb (v.).

perturb

v.

late 14c., from Old French perturber "disturb, confuse" (14c.) and directly from Latin perturbare "to confuse, disorder, disturb," especially of states of the mind, from per- "through" (see per) + turbare "disturb, confuse," from turba "turmoil, crowd" (see turbid). Related: Perturbed; perturbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper