From Middle English destourben, from Anglo-Norman distourber and Old French destorber, from Latin disturbare, intensifying for turbare (“to throw into disorder”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)twerH-, *(s)turH- (“to rotate, swirl, twirl, move around”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /dɪˈstɜːb/
- (US) IPA(key): /dɪˈstɝb/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)b
disturb (third-person singular simple present disturbs, present participle disturbing, simple past and past participle disturbed)
- (transitive) to confuse a quiet, constant state or a calm, continuous flow, in particular: thoughts, actions or liquids.
- The noisy ventilation disturbed me during the exam.
- The performance was disturbed twice by a ringing mobile phone.
- A school of fish disturbed the water.
- (transitive) to divert, redirect, or alter by disturbing.
- A mudslide disturbed the course of the river.
- The trauma disturbed his mind.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- disturb his inmost counsels from their destined aim
- (intransitive) to have a negative emotional impact; to cause emotional distress or confusion.
confuse or irritate
have negative emotional impact
- (obsolete) disturbance
- 1667, John Milton, “(please specify the book number)”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- Instant without disturb they took alarm