verb (used with object)

  1. to interrupt the quiet, rest, peace, or order of; unsettle.
  2. to interfere with; interrupt; hinder: Please do not disturb me when I’m working.
  3. to interfere with the arrangement, order, or harmony of; disarrange: to disturb the papers on her desk.
  4. to perplex; trouble: to be disturbed by strange behavior.

verb (used without object)

  1. to cause disturbance to someone’s sleep, rest, etc.: Do not disturb.

verb (tr)

  1. to intrude on; interrupt
  2. to destroy or interrupt the quietness or peace of
  3. to disarrange; muddle
  4. (often passive) to upset or agitate; troubleI am disturbed at your bad news
  5. to inconvenience; put outdon’t disturb yourself on my account

c.1300, “to stop or hinder,” from Old French destorber (Old North French distourber) and directly from Latin disturbare “throw into disorder,” from dis- “completely” (see dis-) + turbare “to disorder, disturb,” from turba “turmoil” (see turbid).

Meaning “to frighten” is late 13c.; that of “to stir up, agitate” is c.1300. Related: Disturbed; disturbing; disturbingly. Middle English also had distourbler (n.) “one who disturbs or incites” (late 14c.).

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