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Borrowed from Latin disruptus, from disrumpere, commonly dirumpere (to break or burst asunder), from dis-, di- (apart, asunder) + rumpere (to break).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsˈɹʌpt/, /dɪzˈɹʌpt/, /dɪzˈɹʊpt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌpt


disrupt (third-person singular simple present disrupts, present participle disrupting, simple past and past participle disrupted)

  1. (transitive) To throw into confusion or disorder.
    Hecklers disrupted the man's speech.
  2. (transitive) To interrupt or impede.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, “Irregular bedtimes may affect children’s brains”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34:
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.
    Work on the tunnel was disrupted by a strike.
  3. (transitive) To improve a product or service in ways that displace an established one and surprise the market.
    The internet makes it easier for leaner businesses to disrupt the larger and more unwieldy ones.

Related termsEdit



disrupt (comparative more disrupt, superlative most disrupt)

  1. (obsolete) Torn off or torn asunder; severed; disrupted.

Further readingEdit