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1. Unsettled, broken up, or altered in structure or function: disturbed soil.
2. Being or resulting from being emotionally or mentally troubled: taught disturbed children; sent disturbed messages.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Psychiatry) psychiatry emotionally upset, troubled, or maladjusted
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. marked by symptoms of mental illness.
2. agitated or distressed; disrupted.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'disturb'

If you disturb someone, you interrupt what they are doing and cause them inconvenience.

If she's asleep, don't disturb her.
Sorry to disturb you, but can I use your telephone?
2. 'disturbed'

The adjective disturbed has a different meaning. A disturbed person is very upset emotionally and often needs special care or treatment. When disturbed has this meaning, it comes in front of a noun.

They help emotionally disturbed youngsters.

If someone is disturbed, they are very worried. When disturbed has this meaning, it comes after a linking verb.

He was disturbed by the news of the attack.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.disturbed - having the place or position changed; "the disturbed books and papers on her desk"; "disturbed grass showed where the horse had passed"
disarranged - having the arrangement disturbed; not in order; "her disarranged hair"
2.disturbed - afflicted with or marked by anxious uneasiness or trouble or griefdisturbed - afflicted with or marked by anxious uneasiness or trouble or grief; "too upset to say anything"; "spent many disquieted moments"; "distressed about her son's leaving home"; "lapsed into disturbed sleep"; "worried parents"; "a worried frown"; "one last worried check of the sleeping children"
troubled - characterized by or indicative of distress or affliction or danger or need; "troubled areas"; "fell into a troubled sleep"; "a troubled expression"; "troubled teenagers"
3.disturbed - emotionally unstable and having difficulty coping with personal relationshipsdisturbed - emotionally unstable and having difficulty coping with personal relationships
psychoneurotic, neurotic - affected with emotional disorder
4.disturbed - affected with madness or insanitydisturbed - affected with madness or insanity; "a man who had gone mad"
insane - afflicted with or characteristic of mental derangement; "was declared insane"; "insane laughter"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. (Psychiatry) unbalanced, troubled, disordered, unstable, neurotic, upset, deranged, unsound, maladjusted The murderer was apparently mentally disturbed.
unbalanced balanced, untroubled
2. worried, concerned, troubled, upset, bothered, nervous, anxious, uneasy, agitated, disquieted, apprehensive, antsy (informal), angsty (informal) I was disturbed to find that the dog was dead.
worried calm, untroubled, unfazed (informal), collected, self-possessed
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[dɪsˈtɜːbd] ADJ
1. (= worried) → preocupado, angustiado; (= upset) → afectado
I was disturbed to hear thatme afectó mucho el enterarme de que ...
he was disturbed thatle preocupaba que ... + subjun, le inquietaba que ... + subjun
2. (Psych)
2.1. (= unhappy) [childhood, adolescence] → problemático
children from disturbed backgroundsniños que proceden de hogares con problemas
2.2. (= unbalanced) [person, mind] → trastornado; [behaviour] → desequilibrado
she is very disturbedestá muy trastornadatiene muchos problemas mentales
to be emotionally/mentally disturbedtener trastornos afectivos/mentales
3. (= interrupted) [sleep] → interrumpido
to have a disturbed nightdormir mal
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[dɪˈstɜːrbd] adj
(= anxious, worried) [person] → agité(e), troublé(e)
to be disturbed that ... → être inquiet/iète que ...
to be disturbed about sth → être perturbé(e) par qch
(= unhappy) [childhood, relationship] → perturbé(e), troublé(e); [background] → instable
(= traumatised, damaged) [person] → perturbé(e)
to be mentally disturbed → avoir des problèmes psychologiques
to be emotionally disturbed → avoir des problèmes affectifs
[sleep] → agité(e)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= interrupted, turbulent) night, timesunruhig; pregnant women tend to have more disturbed sleep than other peopleSchwangere schlafen oft unruhiger als andere Menschen; separate beds can eliminate disturbed sleepgetrennte Betten können Schlafstörungen verhindern
(Psych: = unbalanced, unhappy) person, behaviour, childhood, backgroundgestört; emotionally/mentally disturbedseelisch/geistig gestört
(= worried) personbeunruhigt, besorgt (→ about, at, by über +acc); he was disturbed that …es beunruhigte or besorgte ihn, dass …; I was disturbed to hear of his accidentich war beunruhigt, als ich von seinem Unfall erfuhr
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[dɪsˈtɜːbd] adjturbato/a
to be emotionally disturbed (Psych) → avere problemi emotivi
to be mentally disturbed (Psych) → essere malato/a di mente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
Pierre disturbed the symmetry by moving a chair for himself, and Berg and Vera immediately began their evening party, interrupting each other in their efforts to entertain their guest.
She wrote on her slate: "I'm glad to be disturbed. I have been dreaming bad dreams.
'I disturbed nobody, Nelly,' he replied; 'and I gave some ease to myself.
Some of the strange questions put to me by the woman in white, after my ill-considered promise to leave her free to act as she pleased, had suggested the conclusion either that she was naturally flighty and unsettled, or that some recent shock of terror had disturbed the balance of her faculties.
You also observed that Mimi was disturbed in her mind at the way Mr.
"No, it's impossible," he thought, glancing now and then at Vassenka bending over Kitty, telling her something with his charming smile, and at her, flushed and disturbed.
Jupiter, disturbed by the noise of their croaking, inquired the cause of their complaint.
In the one case, the conditions of life have been disturbed, though often in so slight a degree as to be inappreciable by us; in the other case, or that of hybrids,the external conditions have remained the same, but the organisation has been disturbed by two different structures and constitutions having been blended into one.
Well, good-bye, and forgive me for having disturbed you!"
The manager, who appeared upon the scene as though by magic, and upon whose face was an expression of horror that his clients should have been so disturbed, quickly gave his orders.
Hawver sprang from his chair, manifestly disturbed. He strode forward and back across the room; then approached his friend, and in a voice not altogether steady, said: "Doctor, have you anything to say to me--as a physician?"
"Yes, yes, madam," cries Partridge, "I am a gentleman, I do assure you, and I am not so easily to be disturbed. Non semper vox casualis est verbo nominativus ." This Latin she took to be some affront, and answered, "You may be a gentleman, sir; but you don't show yourself as one to talk Latin to a woman." Partridge made a gentle reply, and concluded with more Latin; upon which she tossed up her nose, and contented herself by abusing him with the name of a great scholar.