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.

Nearby words

  1. pertinence,
  2. pertinent,
  3. pertly,
  4. perturb,
  5. perturbate,
  6. perturbation theory,
  7. perturbative,
  8. perturbed,
  9. pertussis,
  10. pertussis immune globulin

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. 2019

Examples 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

Word Origin and History for perturbation

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

Science 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.