• synonyms


See more synonyms for disorder on Thesaurus.com
  1. lack of order or regular arrangement; confusion: Your room is in utter disorder.
  2. an irregularity: a disorder in legal proceedings.
  3. breach of order; disorderly conduct; public disturbance.
  4. a disturbance in physical or mental health or functions; malady or dysfunction: a mild stomach disorder.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to destroy the order or regular arrangement of; disarrange.
  2. to derange the physical or mental health or functions of.
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Origin of disorder

First recorded in 1470–80; dis-1 + order
Related formspre·dis·or·der, noun


See more synonyms for disorder on Thesaurus.com
1. disorderliness, disarray, jumble, litter, clutter. 3. riot, turbulence. 4. ailment, malady, illness, complaint, sickness, indisposition. 5. disarray, mess up, disorganize. 6. disturb, upset, confuse.

Synonym study

3. Disorder, brawl, disturbance, uproar are disruptions or interruptions of a peaceful situation. Disorder refers to civil unrest or to any scene in which there is confusion or fighting: The police went to the scene of the disorder. A brawl is a noisy, unseemly quarrel, usually in a public place: a tavern brawl. A disturbance is disorder of a size as to inconvenience people: to cause a disturbance. An uproar is a tumult, a bustle and clamor of many voices, often because of a disturbance: a mighty uproar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for disorder

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her eyes were red with weeping, and her hair was in disorder.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • I hid behind the greenhouse doors, to see the meaning of this disorder.

  • From this peculiarity he names the disorder Convulsio spargens.

  • A disorder which renders the sufferer unable to curb his tongue when you wish to talk.

  • Her hair was pulled down in disorder, and all the dogs were allowed to bark at her.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

British Dictionary definitions for disorder


  1. a lack of order; disarray; confusion
  2. a disturbance of public order or peace
  3. an upset of health; ailment
  4. a deviation from the normal system or order
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verb (tr)
  1. to upset the order of; disarrange; muddle
  2. to disturb the health or mind of
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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 disorder


late 15c., from dis- "not" (see dis-) + the verb order (v.). Replaced earlier disordeine (mid-14c.), from Old French desordainer, from Medieval Latin disordinare "throw into disorder," from Latin ordinare "to order, regulate" (see ordain). Related: Disordered; disordering.

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1520s, from disorder (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disorder in Medicine


  1. A disturbance or derangement that affects the function of mind or body.
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  1. To disturb the normal physical or mental health of; disturb or derange.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.