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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 perturbing

Historical Examples

  • The great box-plants, the great box-plants with their acrid, perturbing perfume!

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • Does the perturbing problem of an end occur to its dense brain?

  • The period was easily allowed to be not exact, because of perturbing planets.

  • So the perturbing power of such a mass on distant bodies is imperceptible.

  • Superficially, her beauty of irregularity was of all beauty the most perturbing and provocative.

    Angel Island

    Inez Haynes Gillmore


British Dictionary definitions for perturbing

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 perturbing

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