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.
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.

Origin of disorder

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

Synonyms for disorder

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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 of disorder

Historical Examples of disorder

  • 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
verb (tr)
  1. to upset the order of; disarrange; muddle
  2. to disturb the health or mind of
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.


1520s, from disorder (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disorder in Medicine


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