causing, tending to cause, or caused by disruption; disrupting: the disruptive effect of their rioting.
  1. relating to or noting a new product, service, or idea that radically changes an industry or business strategy, especially by creating a new market and disrupting an existing one: disruptive innovations such as the cell phone and the two-year community college.
  2. relating to or noting a business executive or company that introduces or is receptive to such innovation: disruptive CEOs with imagination and vision.

Origin of disruptive

First recorded in 1835–45; disrupt + -ive
Related formsdis·rup·tive·ly, adverbdis·rup·tive·ness, nounnon·dis·rup·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for disruptive



involving, causing, or tending to cause disruption
Derived Formsdisruptively, adverb
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 disruptive

1862 (in electricity sense from 1842); see disrupt + -ive. Related: Disruptively; disruptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper