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[dis-awr-der] /dɪsˈɔr dər/
lack of order or regular arrangement; confusion:
Your room is in utter disorder.
an irregularity:
a disorder in legal proceedings.
breach of order; disorderly conduct; public disturbance.
a disturbance in physical or mental health or functions; malady or dysfunction:
a mild stomach disorder.
verb (used with object)
to destroy the order or regular arrangement of; disarrange.
to derange the physical or mental health or functions of.
Origin of disorder
1470-80; dis-1 + order
Related forms
predisorder, noun
1. disorderliness, disarray, jumble, litter, clutter. 3. riot, turbulence. Disorder, brawl, disturbance, uproar are disruptions or interruptions of a peaceful situation. Disorder refers to civil unrest or to any scene in which there is confusion or fighting: The police went to the scene of the disorder. A brawl is a noisy, unseemly quarrel, usually in a public place: a tavern brawl. A disturbance is disorder of a size as to inconvenience people: to cause a disturbance. An uproar is a tumult, a bustle and clamor of many voices, often because of a disturbance: a mighty uproar. 4. ailment, malady, illness, complaint, sickness, indisposition. 5. disarray, mess up, disorganize. 6. disturb, upset, confuse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disorder
  • Depression is a physiologically based medical disorder which also has mental ramifications.
  • Taking oxytocin boosts social skills in people with the asocial disorder.
  • For individuals who are found legally insane, psychiatric medication is often prescribed to treat the underlying mental disorder.
  • Although some respondents were in treatment for a mental-health disorder, the majority were not.
  • Neglecting to perform such sacrifices, they believed, could result in chaos and cosmic disorder.
  • The draft bill will make it easier to detain people with a mental disorder who pose a threat to others.
  • There were widespread fears of a surge in unemployment and an increase in poverty and social disorder.
  • They advertise painting's supreme capacity to invest mental disorder with formal power.
  • Compulsive hoarding is often accompanied by another mental disorder, which is one reason it's difficult to treat successfully.
  • It destroys my primary right of security, by constantly creating and stimulating social disorder.
British Dictionary definitions for disorder


a lack of order; disarray; confusion
a disturbance of public order or peace
an upset of health; ailment
a deviation from the normal system or order
verb (transitive)
to upset the order of; disarrange; muddle
to disturb the health or mind of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disorder

late 15c., from dis- "not" (see dis-) + the verb order (v.). Replaced earlier disordeine (mid-14c.), from Old French desordainer, from Medieval Latin disordinare "throw into disorder," from Latin ordinare "to order, regulate" (see ordain). Related: Disordered; disordering.


1520s, from disorder (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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disorder in Medicine

disorder dis·or·der (dĭs-ôr'dər)
A disturbance or derangement that affects the function of mind or body, such as an eating disorder or the abuse of a drug. v. dis·or·dered, dis·or·der·ing, dis·or·ders
To disturb the normal physical or mental health of; derange.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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