perturbation

[pur-ter-bey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for perturbation on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the act of perturbing.
  2. the state of being perturbed.
  3. mental disquiet, disturbance, or agitation.
  4. a cause of mental disquiet, disturbance, or agitation.
  5. 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.

Origin of perturbation

1325–75; < Latin perturbātiōn- (stem of perturbātiō; see perturb, -ation); replacing Middle English perturbacioun < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related formsper·tur·ba·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for perturbation

anxiety, confusion, commotion, disruption, disturbance, disorder

Examples from the Web for perturbation

Contemporary Examples of perturbation

Historical Examples of perturbation

  • In the case of the world, the perturbation is very slight, and amounts only to a reversal of motion.

  • Other than this there was no 347 sign of perturbation on its owner's part.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • In spite of his perturbation he had been amused for the moment.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Hephzy seized the opportunity to express to me her perturbation.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It was not sorrow, and it was not pain; it was anxiety, uncertainty, perturbation.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine


British Dictionary definitions for perturbation

perturbation

noun
  1. the act of perturbing or the state of being perturbed
  2. a cause of disturbance or upset
  3. 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
  4. 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

Word Origin and History for perturbation
n.

late 14c., from Old French perturbacion "disturbance, confusion" (14c.) and directly from Latin perturbationem (nominative perturbatio) "confusion, disorder, disturbance," noun of action from past participle stem of perturbare (see perturb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

perturbation in Science

perturbation

[pûr′tər-bāshən]
  1. A small change in a physical system, most often in a physical system at equilibrium that is disturbed from the outside.
  2. 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.