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



    BrE BrE//ˈstɜːbəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɜːrbəns//
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  1. 1[uncountable, countable, usually singular] actions that make you stop what you are doing, or that upset the normal state that something is in; the act of disturbing somebody/something or the fact of being disturbed The building work is creating constant noise, dust and disturbance. a disturbance in the usual pattern of events the disturbance of the local wildlife by tourists
  2. 2[countable] a situation in which people behave violently in a public place serious disturbances in the streets He was charged with causing a disturbance after the game.
  3. 3[uncountable, countable] a state in which somebody’s mind or a function of the body is upset and not working normally emotional disturbance
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French destourbance, from destourber, from Latin disturbare, from dis- ‘utterly’ + turbare ‘disturb’.Extra examples An influx of refugees has triggered disturbances in the city. Buildings should create minimum disturbance to the environment. Fish can sense disturbances in the water. He was arrested and charged with causing a disturbance in a public place. Large numbers of workers involved in the disturbances have been arrested. Many patients reported sleep disturbances after taking the drug. Police had been called to a domestic disturbance. Several people were injured during a disturbance in the capital city. She moved the nest very carefully to prevent disturbance to the birds. The decision led to serious disturbances in all the country’s main cities. The government advocated strong action against Mussolini’s disturbance of the peace. The traffic causes serious disturbance to residents. There had been violent disturbances among the prisoners. Troops were brought in to put down the disturbance. a disturbance in liver function a place where you can work without disturbance an unacceptable level of disturbance to occupiers of adjacent properties behavioural disturbances in children disturbance from noisy lorries disturbances between members of two rival factions disturbances involving members of a crowd of 550 demonstrators environmental disturbances caused by roads and traffic teenagers suffering from a kind of psychological disturbance the disturbance of marine life caused by oil spillages His changes to the team are meant to cause as little disturbance as possible. News of the arrests provoked serious disturbances in the streets. One problem is the disturbance of the local wildlife by tourists. The army is trained to deal with riots and civil disturbance. The repairs have been carried out with minimal disturbance to local residents. Their arrival had caused a disturbance in the usual pattern of events.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disturbance