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perturb

[per-turb]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to disturb or disquiet greatly in mind; agitate.
  2. to throw into great disorder; derange.
  3. Astronomy. to cause perturbation in the orbit of (a celestial body).
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Origin of perturb

1325–75; Middle English perturben (< Old French perturber) < Latin perturbāre to throw into confusion, equivalent to per- per- + turbāre to disturb; see turbid
Related formsper·turb·a·ble, adjectiveper·turb·a·bil·i·ty, nounper·tur·ba·tious [pur-ter-bey-shuh s] /ˌpɜr tərˈbeɪ ʃəs/, adjectiveper·turb·ed·ly [per-tur-bid-lee] /pərˈtɜr bɪd li/, adverbper·turb·ed·ness, nounper·turb·er, per·tur·ba·tor [pur-ter-bey-ter] /ˈpɜr tərˌbeɪ tər/, nounper·turb·ing·ly, adverbper·turb·ment, nounnon·per·turb·a·ble, adjectivenon·per·turb·ing, adjectiveun·per·turb·a·ble, adjectiveun·per·turbed, adjectiveun·per·turb·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. trouble. 2. confuse, addle, muddle.

Antonyms

1. pacify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perturber

Historical Examples

  • There's less of it with you to provide for, and it's less a perturber of your reckoning.

    The Letters of Henry James (volume I)

    Henry James

  • All his shameful perturbation vanished, a trifling thing before the great Perturber's presence.

  • The bourkhan Ebdekchi (the perturber) appeared at the time when the duration of life did not exceed 40,000 years.

  • This action takes place if a slate, a pane of glass, or a shingle is interposed between the needle and its perturber.


British Dictionary definitions for perturber

perturb

verb (tr; often passive)
  1. to disturb the composure of; trouble
  2. to throw into disorder
  3. physics astronomy to cause (a planet, electron, etc) to undergo a perturbation
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Derived Formsperturbable, adjectiveperturbably, adverbperturbing, adjectiveperturbingly, adverb

Word Origin

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

perturb

v.

late 14c., from Old French perturber "disturb, confuse" (14c.) and directly from Latin perturbare "to confuse, disorder, disturb," especially of states of the mind, from per- "through" (see per) + turbare "disturb, confuse," from turba "turmoil, crowd" (see turbid). Related: Perturbed; perturbing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper