Definition of disorder noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪsˈɔːdə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪsˈɔːrdər//
    Being ill
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  1. 1[uncountable] (formal) an untidy state; a lack of order or organization His financial affairs were in complete disorder. The room was in a state of disorder. Everyone began shouting at once and the meeting broke up in disorder. opposite order
  2. 2[uncountable] (formal) violent behaviour of large groups of people an outbreak of rioting and public disorder Twenty people were arrested after a night of civil disorder. compare order
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] (medical) an illness that causes a part of the body to stop functioning correctly a blood/bowel, etc. disorder eating disorders He was suffering from some form of psychiatric disorder. a rare disorder of the liver Most people with acute mental disorder can be treated at home. Synonymsdiseaseillness disorder infection condition ailment bugThese are all words for a medical problem.disease a medical problem affecting humans, animals or plants, often caused by infection:He suffers from a rare blood disease.illness a medical problem, or a period of suffering from one:She died after a long illness.disease or illness?Disease is used to talk about more severe physical medical problems, especially those that affect the organs. Illness is used to talk about both more severe and more minor medical problems, and those that affect mental health:heart/​kidney/​liver illness mental disease. Disease is not used about a period of illness:She died after a long disease.disorder (rather formal) an illness that causes a part of the body to stop functioning correctly:a rare disorder of the liver. A disorder is generally not infectious. Disorder is used most frequently with words relating to mental problems, for example psychiatric, personality, mental and eating. When it is used to talk about physical problems, it is most often used with blood, bowel and kidney, and these are commonly serious, severe or rare.infection an illness that is caused by bacteria or a virus and that affects one part of the body:a throat infectioncondition a medical problem that you have for a long time because it is not possible to cure it:a heart conditionailment (rather formal) an illness that is not very serious:childhood ailmentsbug (informal) an infectious illness that is usually fairly mild:a nasty flu bugPatterns to have/​suffer from a(n) disease/​illness/​disorder/​infection/​condition/​ailment/​bug to catch/​contract/​get/​pick up a(n) disease/​illness/​infection/​bug See related entries: Being ill
  4. Word Originlate 15th cent. (as a verb): alteration, influenced by order, of earlier disordain, from Old French desordener, ultimately based on Latin ordinare ‘ordain’.Extra examples Consumption of fatty acids may help prevent the disorder. He died suddenly, leaving his financial affairs in complete disorder. Her doctor diagnosed a thyroid disorder. She suffers from a rare blood disorder. Some people develop psychological disorders as a result of trauma. The country was thrown into disorder by the strikes. The initiative aims to tackle alcohol-related disorder in towns. The police will not tolerate disorder of any kind on our streets. There have been outbreaks of serious public disorder. Troops were sent in to quell the disorder. disorders affecting the very old, such as senile dementia disorders of the digestive system new restrictions aimed at preventing social disorder problems of youth disorder in our cities the argument that thin models in magazines cause eating disorders the pressures on police caused by drink-related disorder He loves tidying up, making order out of disorder. He was suffering from a psychiatric disorder. His financial affairs were in a state of complete disorder. She’s got some kind of bowel disorder. The food crisis led to outbreaks of rioting and public disorder. The gang of men scattered in disorder. The world’s currency markets were thrown into disorder. This is a rare disorder of the liver. a/​an psychiatric/​personality/​mental/​depressive/​eating disorder the wild disorder of her red hair
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disorder