perturbation

[ pur-ter-bey-shuh n ]
/ ˌpɜr tərˈbeɪ ʃən /

noun

the act of perturbing.
the state of being perturbed.
mental disquiet, disturbance, or agitation.
a cause of mental disquiet, disturbance, or agitation.
Astronomy. deviation of a celestial body from a regular orbit about its primary, caused by the presence of one or more other bodies that act upon the celestial body.

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Origin of perturbation

1325–75; < Latin perturbātiōn- (stem of perturbātiō; see perturb, -ation); replacing Middle English perturbacioun < Anglo-French < Latin, as above

OTHER WORDS FROM perturbation

per·tur·ba·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for perturbation

British Dictionary definitions for perturbation

perturbation
/ (ˌpɜːtəˈbeɪʃən) /

noun

the act of perturbing or the state of being perturbed
a cause of disturbance or upset
physics a secondary influence on a system that modifies simple behaviour, such as the effect of the other electrons on one electron in an atom
astronomy a small continuous deviation in the inclination and eccentricity of the orbit of a planet or comet, due to the attraction of neighbouring planets
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

Scientific definitions for perturbation

perturbation
[ pûr′tər-bāshən ]

A small change in a physical system, most often in a physical system at equilibrium that is disturbed from the outside.
Variation in a designated orbit, as of a planet, that results from the influence of one or more external bodies. Gravitational attraction between planets can cause perturbations and cause a planet to deviate from its expected orbit. Perturbations in Neptune's orbit led to the discovery of the object-Pluto-that was causing the perturbation. Perturbations in the orbits of stars have led to the discovery of planetary systems outside of our Solar system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.