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90s Slang You Should Know


[per-turb] /pərˈtɜrb/
verb (used with object)
to disturb or disquiet greatly in mind; agitate.
to throw into great disorder; derange.
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 forms
perturbable, adjective
perturbability, noun
[pur-ter-bey-shuh s] /ˌpɜr tərˈbeɪ ʃəs/ (Show IPA),
[per-tur-bid-lee] /pərˈtɜr bɪd li/ (Show IPA),
perturbedness, noun
perturber, perturbator
[pur-ter-bey-ter] /ˈpɜr tərˌbeɪ tər/ (Show IPA),
perturbingly, adverb
perturbment, noun
nonperturbable, adjective
nonperturbing, adjective
unperturbable, adjective
unperturbed, adjective
unperturbing, adjective
1. trouble. 2. confuse, addle, muddle.
1. pacify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for perturbing
Historical Examples
  • Now I should say that the great run of tide at the south-west end of Aros exercises a perturbing influence round all the coast.

  • Does the perturbing problem of an end occur to its dense brain?

  • It exhibits the most exquisite polish, allied with an avoidance of every shocking or perturbing theme.

  • The period was easily allowed to be not exact, because of perturbing planets.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • Althea could not have faced the perturbing fact that charm, to her, counted for more than goodness.

    Franklin Kane Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • So the perturbing power of such a mass on distant bodies is imperceptible.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • Scrubbing, painting of blinds, and other perturbing processes did all they could to make it uncomfortable.

    Our Hundred Days in Europe Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • But perturbing things were happening, within her and around her.

    A Mummer's Tale Anatole France
  • Superficially, her beauty of irregularity was of all beauty the most perturbing and provocative.

    Angel Island Inez Haynes Gillmore
  • The perturbing influence of recent immigration must vex American life for many decades.

British Dictionary definitions for perturbing


verb (transitive; often passive)
to disturb the composure of; trouble
to throw into disorder
(physics, astronomy) to cause (a planet, electron, etc) to undergo a perturbation
Derived Forms
perturbable, adjective
perturbably, adverb
perturbing, adjective
perturbingly, 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
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Word Origin and History for perturbing



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
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