- upsetting or disquieting; dismaying: a disturbing increase in the crime rate.
Origin of disturbing
- 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.
- to cause disturbance to someone's sleep, rest, etc.: Do not disturb.
Origin of disturb
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordstroublesome, embarrassing, annoying, worrisome, distressing, startling, unsettling, alarming, threatening, discouraging, unpleasant, painful, perplexing, upsetting, depressing, ominous, frightening, irritating, sinister, creepy
Examples from the Web for disturbing
This is why arguments for little to no federal oversight of education are so disturbing.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future
January 3, 2015
You kind of just have to watch it, but be warned you may find it disturbing.Star Wars Christmas Lights, Unedited Footage of a Bear, and More Viral Videos
The Daily Beast Video
December 21, 2014
The item on federal prisoners was disturbing in a different way.The GOP’s Hidden Ban on Prison Abortions
December 13, 2014
Here are the disturbing stories from all the people who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct thus far.Bill Cosby’s Long List of Accusers (So Far): 18 Alleged Sexual Assault Victims Between 1965-2004
November 24, 2014
One African American officer smirked, possibly an attempt to laugh off the disturbing comments being launched in his direction.Ferguson Protesters Harass Black Police, Call for Darren Wilson’s Death
November 21, 2014
She shivered a little; then tossed her head as if to throw off the disturbing thoughts.Viviette
William J. Locke
He was storm-tossed in the disturbing element; he could come to no satisfying conclusion.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
But Doctor Eben was in no danger of disturbing Hetty in this way.Hetty's Strange History
The sea-dragon cried: “Who is disturbing me here in my own kingdom?”The Chinese Fairy Book
Again, as with my father, I felt that disturbing lack of faith in my work.The Harbor
- tending to upset or agitate; troubling; worrying
- 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
Word Origin and History for disturbing
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.).