[ per-turb ]
See synonyms for: perturbperturbedperturbingperturbable on

verb (used with object)
  1. to disturb or disquiet greatly in mind; agitate.

  2. to throw into great disorder; derange.

  1. Astronomy. to cause perturbation in the orbit of (a celestial body).

Origin of perturb

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English perturben (from Old French perturber ), from Latin perturbāre “to throw into confusion,” equivalent to per- per- + turbāre “to disturb”; see turbid

Other words for perturb

Opposites for perturb

Other words from perturb

  • per·turb·a·ble, adjective
  • per·turb·a·bil·i·ty [per-tur-buh-bil-i-tee], /pərˌtɜr bəˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • per·tur·ba·tious [pur-ter-bey-shuhs], /ˌpɜr tərˈbeɪ ʃəs/, adjective
  • per·tur·ba·tor [pur-ter-bey-ter], /ˈpɜr tərˌbeɪ tər/, per·turb·er, noun
  • per·turb·ing·ly, adverb
  • per·turb·ment, noun
  • non·per·turb·a·ble, adjective
  • non·per·turb·ing, adjective
  • un·per·turb·a·ble, adjective
  • un·per·turb·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for perturb


/ (pəˈtɜːb) /

verb(tr; often passive)
  1. to disturb the composure of; trouble

  2. to throw into disorder

  1. physics astronomy to cause (a planet, electron, etc) to undergo a perturbation

Origin of perturb

C14: from Old French pertourber, from Latin perturbāre to confuse, from per- (intensive) + turbāre to agitate, from turba confusion

Derived forms of perturb

  • perturbable, adjective
  • perturbably, adverb
  • perturbing, adjective
  • perturbingly, adverb

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