marked by symptoms of mental illness: a disturbed personality.
agitated or distressed; disrupted: disturbed seas; a disturbed situation.


(used with a plural verb) persons who exhibit symptoms of neurosis or psychosis (usually preceded by the).

Nearby words

  1. distrix,
  2. distrust,
  3. distrustful,
  4. disturb,
  5. disturbance,
  6. disturbing,
  7. disty.,
  8. distylar,
  9. distyle,
  10. disubstituted

Origin of disturbed

First recorded in 1585–95; disturb + -ed2

Related formsun·dis·turbed, adjective



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)

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

Examples from the Web for disturbed

British Dictionary definitions for disturbed



psychiatry emotionally upset, troubled, or maladjusted


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 disturbed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper