[ dih-stur-bing ]
/ dɪˈstɜr bɪŋ /


upsetting or disquieting; dismaying: a disturbing increase in the crime rate.

Origin of disturbing

First recorded in 1585–95; disturb + -ing2

Related forms

dis·turb·ing·ly, adverbnon·dis·turb·ing, adjectiveun·dis·turb·ing, adjectiveun·dis·turb·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for disturbing (2 of 2)


[ dih-sturb ]
/ dɪˈstɜrb /

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 forms

dis·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 disturbing

British Dictionary definitions for disturbing (1 of 2)


/ (dɪˈstɜːbɪŋ) /


tending to upset or agitate; troubling; worrying

Derived Forms

disturbingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for disturbing (2 of 2)


/ (dɪˈstɜːb) /

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 Forms

disturber, 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