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[dis-ruhp-tiv] /dɪsˈrʌp tɪv/
causing, tending to cause, or caused by disruption; disrupting:
the disruptive effect of their rioting.
  1. relating to or noting a new product, service, or idea that radically changes an industry or business strategy, especially by creating a new market and disrupting an existing one:
    disruptive innovations such as the cell phone and the two-year community college.
  2. relating to or noting a business executive or company that introduces or is receptive to such innovation:
    disruptive CEOs with imagination and vision.
Origin of disruptive
1835-45; disrupt + -ive
Related forms
disruptively, adverb
disruptiveness, noun
nondisruptive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disruptive
  • By then, word had already reached the organizers of the event that a group was planning a disruptive protest.
  • Their campaign has been largely peaceful, but disruptive.
  • And some are beginning to construct fences across grazing lands, which may prove disruptive to wildlife.
  • Eventually even localized tumors produce significant disruptive tissue damage.
  • But as disruptive as the app stores are, they may not exist in five years, thanks to the next item on our list.
  • Besides, at some point, your disruptive office mate has to stop talking and listen to reason.
  • The disruptive reforms that have so changed the private sector should now be let loose on the public sector.
  • Dams are extremely disruptive to the surrounding landscape, but are a tried-and-true method of reducing downstream flooding.
  • Three is something they call confining-anticipating and recognizing disruptive environmental change to quickly manage it.
  • Then the bubble burst, with hugely disruptive consequences.
British Dictionary definitions for disruptive


involving, causing, or tending to cause disruption
Derived Forms
disruptively, adverb
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 disruptive

1862 (in electricity sense from 1842); see disrupt + -ive. Related: Disruptively; disruptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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