• (British) IPA: /dɪsˈtɜːb/

disturb (disturbs, present participle disturbing; past and past participle disturbed)

  1. (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.
  2. (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 1”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      disturb his inmost counsels from their destined aim
  3. (intransitive) to have a negative emotional impact; to cause emotional distress or confusion.
    A disturbing film that tries to explore the mind of a serial killer.
    His behaviour is very disturbing.
Translations Translations Noun


  1. (obsolete) disturbance

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