disturb

[dih-sturb]

verb (used with object)

to interrupt the quiet, rest, peace, or order of; unsettle.
to interfere with; interrupt; hinder: Please do not disturb me when I'm working.
to interfere with the arrangement, order, or harmony of; disarrange: to disturb the papers on her desk.
to perplex; trouble: to be disturbed by strange behavior.

verb (used without object)

to cause disturbance to someone's sleep, rest, etc.: Do not disturb.

Origin of disturb

1175–1225; Middle English disto(u)rben, disturben < Anglo-French disto(u)rber, desturber < Latin disturbāre to demolish, upset, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + turbāre to confuse
Related formsdis·turb·er, nounpre·dis·turb, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for disturb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for disturb

Contemporary Examples of disturb

Historical Examples of disturb

  • When they do not disturb him with earthly medicines, he is quiet and happy.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • If, however great the cause, I fret myself I disturb the right conditions.

  • It could disturb no one if Mrs. Roberts tried her little experiment.

  • No other noise could disturb us but the cackling of hens and the quacking of ducks.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Sir, it will stun you; and you should have nothing to disturb you in the state of health you are in.


British Dictionary definitions for disturb

disturb

verb (tr)

to intrude on; interrupt
to destroy or interrupt the quietness or peace of
to disarrange; muddle
(often passive) to upset or agitate; troubleI am disturbed at your bad news
to inconvenience; put outdon't disturb yourself on my account
Derived Formsdisturber, noun

Word Origin for disturb

C13: from Latin disturbāre, from dis- 1 + turbāre to confuse
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 disturb
v.

c.1300, "to stop or hinder," from Old French destorber (Old North French distourber) and directly from Latin disturbare "throw into disorder," from dis- "completely" (see dis-) + turbare "to disorder, disturb," from turba "turmoil" (see turbid).

Meaning "to frighten" is late 13c.; that of "to stir up, agitate" is c.1300. Related: Disturbed; disturbing; disturbingly. Middle English also had distourbler (n.) "one who disturbs or incites" (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper