View synonyms for disturbance


[ dih-stur-buhns ]


  1. the act of disturbing. disturbing.
  2. the state of being disturbed. disturbed.

    Synonyms: confusion, perturbation

  3. an instance of this; commotion.

    Antonyms: order

  4. something that disturbs.
  5. an outbreak of disorder; a breach of public peace:

    Political disturbances shook the city.

    Synonyms: riot, tumult, confusion

  6. Meteorology. any cyclonic storm or low-pressure area, usually a small one.
  7. Geology. a crustal movement of moderate intensity, somewhat restricted in area.


/ dɪˈstɜːbəns /


  1. the act of disturbing or the state of being disturbed
  2. an interruption or intrusion
  3. an unruly outburst or tumult
  4. law an interference with another's rights
  5. geology
    1. a minor movement of the earth causing a small earthquake
    2. a minor mountain-building event
  6. meteorol a small depression
  7. psychiatry a mental or emotional disorder

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Other Words From

  • nondis·turbance noun
  • predis·turbance noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of disturbance1

1250–1300; Middle English disto ( u ) rbance < Anglo-French, Old French. See disturb, -ance

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

The graphic body-camera footage, which Rochester police released Sunday, left city leaders demanding answers for how a family disturbance call quickly escalated into a use of force against a young girl in obvious distress.

We’ll watch the timing of a potentially moisture-starved disturbance moving through.

Sternbeck said members of the department's civil disturbance unit escorted the Capitol-related defendants out the secondary exit.

We will not tolerate any disturbance on board our aircraft or at any of the airports we serve.

Cells also already have a native capacity to keep DNA safe from environmental disturbances.

As a precaution against a possible disturbance, the ferry was escorted by a police boat, its blue lights flashing.

“I think that there will be an ability that people will get to have their voice heard without disturbance,” Bratton said.

Playing in her yard one day, she saw “a ripple, a disturbance of the air … My first thought is that I have seen the devil.”

The stakes of each disturbance rise accordingly—increasing the sense of general crisis and emergency washing over the globe.

The man was a member of the Los Angeles police force investigating a disturbance at such-and-such and address.

“I fretted and fumed all next day, and raised a great disturbance,” rejoined the old gentleman.

The intensity of this drama, however, being interior, caused little outward disturbance that casual onlookers need have noticed.

Then Gaubert returned with a tale that you had been killed and that there was a disturbance in the Champs aux Capuchins.

His coming was in the nature of a welcome disturbance; it seemed to furnish a new direction for her emotions.

Thus was a most important revolution brought about without bloodshed, and almost without disturbance.