Disorder is a lack of order — in other words, chaos, clutter, and general disarray.

If everyone in your class is yelling and throwing things, there's no order: there's disorder. If all the library books are out of order and thrown sloppily on the shelf, that's disorder, too. If you mess or mix something up, you're disordering it. Many medical conditions and diseases are also called disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder. Whenever there's disorder, something is wrong or out of whack.

Definitions of disorder

n a condition in which things are not in their expected places

“the files are in complete disorder
order, orderliness
a condition of regular or proper arrangement
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a condition of great disorder
the condition of being untidy
mess, messiness, muss, mussiness
a state of confusion and disorderliness
disarrangement, disorganisation, disorganization
a condition in which an orderly system has been disrupted
clutter, fuddle, jumble, mare's nest, muddle, smother, welter
a confused multitude of things
sloppiness, slovenliness, unkemptness
a lack of order and tidiness; not cared for
a jumble of things to be given away
Type of:
condition, status
a state at a particular time

n a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning

“the doctor prescribed some medicine for the disorder
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immunological disorder
a disorder of the immune system
functional disorder
disorder showing symptoms for which no physiological or anatomical cause can be identified
organic disorder
disorder caused by a detectable physiological or structural change in an organ
the condition in which the upper teeth do not touch the lower teeth when biting
abruptio placentae
a disorder of pregnancy in which the placenta prematurely separates from the wall of the uterus
an abnormal deficiency or absence of free hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice; often associated with severe anemias and cancer of the stomach
acholia, cholestasis
a condition in which little or no bile is secreted or the flow of bile into the digestive tract is obstructed
achylia, achylia gastrica
absence of gastric juices (partial or complete)
acute brain disorder, acute organic brain syndrome
any disorder (as sudden confusion or disorientation) in an otherwise normal person that is due to reversible (temporary) impairment of brain tissues (as by head injuries or drugs or infection)
ailment, complaint, ill
an often persistent bodily disorder or disease; a cause for complaining
eating disorder
a disorder of the normal eating routine
bladder disorder
a disorder of the urinary bladder
cardiovascular disease
a disease of the heart or blood vessels
celiac disease
a disorder in children and adults; inability to tolerate wheat protein (gluten); symptoms include foul-smelling diarrhea and emaciation; often accompanied by lactose intolerance
cheilosis, perleche
a disorder of the lips marked by scaling and fissures at the corners of the mouth; caused by a deficiency of riboflavin
a condition caused by blocking the airways to the lungs (as with food or swelling of the larynx)
a condition in which the vagina is unusually dry
degenerative disorder
condition leading to progressive loss of function
a disorder in the sense of touch
dysosmia, olfactory impairment, parosamia
a disorder in the sense of smell
condition in which swallowing is difficult or painful
painful or difficult urination
loss of ability to function normally
an ill-defined state of irritability and distress
adenosis, gland disease, glandular disease, glandular disorder
a disorder of the glands of the body
a condition characterized by excessive restlessness and movement
impacted tooth, impaction
a disorder in which a tooth is so crowded in its socket that it cannot erupt normally
a disorder in which feces are impacted in the lower colon
learning disability, learning disorder
a disorder found in children of normal intelligence who have difficulties in learning specific skills
(dentistry) a condition in which the opposing teeth do not mesh normally
idiopathic disease, idiopathic disorder, idiopathy
any disease arising from internal dysfunctions of unknown cause
disturbance, folie, mental disorder, mental disturbance, psychological disorder
(psychiatry) a psychological disorder of thought or emotion; a more neutral term than mental illness
metabolic disorder
a disorder or defect of metabolism
nervous disorder, neurological disease, neurological disorder
a disorder of the nervous system
disorder in which serous fluid accumulates in a body sac (especially in the scrotum)
sleep disorder
a disturbance of the normal sleep pattern
the condition of having respiration stopped by compression of the air passage
haematocolpometra, hematocolpometra
accumulation of blood in the vagina and uterus
haematocolpos, hematocolpos
accumulation of menstrual blood in the vagina (usually due to an imperforate hymen)
defect of speech, speech defect, speech disorder
a disorder of oral speech
psilosis, sprue, tropical sprue
a chronic disorder that occurs in tropical and non-tropical forms and in both children and adults; nutrients are not absorbed; symptoms include foul-smelling diarrhea and emaciation
immunological disorder in which some part of the body's immune system is inadequate and resistance to infectious diseases is reduced
lowering the body's normal immune response to invasion by foreign substances; can be deliberate (as in lowering the immune response to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ) or incidental (as a side effect of radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer)
an inability to stay awake
an inability to sleep; chronic sleeplessness
pavor nocturnus, sleep terror disorder
a disorder of sleep characterized by a dream of terrifying dimensions far worse than a typical nightmare; they occur during NREM sleep
a prolonged disorder of eating due to loss of appetite
an eating disorder, frequent in children, in which non-nutritional objects are eaten persistently
binge-purge syndrome, binge-vomit syndrome, bulima nervosa, bulimarexia
a disorder of eating in which the person alternates between strong craving for food and aversion to food; characterized by excessive eating followed by periods of fasting or self-induced vomiting
binge-eating syndrome, bulimia
a disorder of eating seen among young women who go on eating binges and then feel guilt and depression and self-condemnation
loss of the myelin covering of some nerve fibers resulting in their impaired function
any degenerative disorder resulting from inadequate or faulty nutrition
(dentistry) malocclusion in which the upper teeth extend abnormally far over the lower teeth
excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone resulting in abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood; can affect many systems of the body (especially causing bone resorption and osteoporosis)
inadequate secretion of parathyroid hormone resulting in abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood
excessive activity of the pituitary gland (especially overactivity of the anterior lobe which leads to excess secretion of growth hormone)
Asperger's syndrome
a psychiatric disorder usually noted during early school years; characterized by impaired social relations and by repetitive patterns of behavior
alcaptonuria, alkaptonuria
a rare recessive metabolic anomaly marked by ochronosis and the presence of alkapton in the urine
brain damage
injury to the brain that impairs its functions (especially permanently); can be caused by trauma to the head, infection, hemorrhage, inadequate oxygen, genetic abnormality, etc.
brain disease, brain disorder, encephalopathy
any disorder or disease of the brain
ataxia, ataxy, dyssynergia, motor ataxia
inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements; unsteady movements and staggering gait
atopognosia, atopognosis
absence or loss of topognosia; inability to locate correctly a point of touch
abnormality in performing voluntary muscle movements
MS, disseminated multiple sclerosis, disseminated sclerosis, multiple sclerosis
a chronic progressive nervous disorder involving loss of myelin sheath around certain nerve fibers
Parkinson's, Parkinson's disease, Parkinson's syndrome, Parkinsonism, paralysis agitans, shaking palsy
a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination
any of several degenerative nervous disorders characterized by spasmodic movements of the body and limbs
flaccid paralysis
weakness or loss of muscle tone resulting from injury or disease of the nerves innervating the muscles
impaired ability to learn grade-appropriate mathematics
impaired ability to learn to write
impaired ability to learn to read
partial or total loss of articulate speech resulting from lesions of the central nervous system
cardiopathy, heart disease
a disease of the heart
high blood pressure, hypertension
a common disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally high (a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or greater)
abnormally low blood pressure
ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord; results in progressive muscle atrophy that starts in the limbs
aneurism, aneurysm
a cardiovascular disease characterized by a saclike widening of an artery resulting from weakening of the artery wall
a continuous succession of slow, writhing, involuntary movements of the hands and feet and other body parts
a progressive disease of the central nervous system marked by increasing lack of coordination and advancing to paralysis and death within a year of the appearance of symptoms; thought to have been transmitted by cannibalistic consumption of diseased brain tissue since the disease virtually disappeared when cannibalism was abandoned
nerve compression
harmful pressure on a nerve (especially in nerves that pass over rigid prominences); causes nerve damage and muscle weakness
circulatory failure
failure of the cardiovascular system to supply adequate amounts of blood to body tissues
coronary failure, heart failure
inability of the heart to pump enough blood to sustain normal bodily functions
kidney failure, renal failure
inability of the kidneys to excrete wastes and to help maintain the electrolyte balance
Addison's disease, Addison's syndrome, hypoadrenalism, hypoadrenocorticism
a glandular disorder caused by failure of function of the cortex of the adrenal gland and marked by anemia and prostration with brownish skin
a glandular disease or enlargement of glandular tissue (especially of the lymph glands)
aldosteronism, hyperaldosteronism
a condition caused by overproduction of aldosterone
Cushing's disease, hyperadrenalism
a glandular disorder caused by excessive ACTH resulting in greater than normal functioning of the adrenal gland; characterized by obesity
Cushing's syndrome, hyperadrenocorticism
a glandular disorder caused by excessive cortisol
hyperthyroidism, thyrotoxicosis
an overactive thyroid gland; pathologically excessive production of thyroid hormones or the condition resulting from excessive production of thyroid hormones
an underactive thyroid gland; a glandular disorder resulting from insufficient production of thyroid hormones
reduction or lack of an immune response to a specific antigen
inborn error of metabolism
any of a number of diseases in which an inherited defect (usually a missing or inadequate enzyme) results in an abnormality of metabolism
a disorder of lipid metabolism; abnormal levels of certain fats accumulate in the body
lysine intolerance
a disorder in which a lack of certain enzymes makes it impossible to digest the amino acid lysine
a minor nonspecific ailment
kinetosis, motion sickness
the state of being dizzy or nauseated because of the motions that occur while traveling in or on a moving vehicle
any of various disorders of lipoprotein and cholesterol metabolism that result in high levels of lipoprotein and cholesterol in the circulating blood
any of various disorders of lipoprotein and cholesterol metabolism that result in low levels of lipoprotein and cholesterol in the circulating blood
sleep apnea
apnea that occurs during sleep
anxiety disorder
a cover term for a variety of mental disorders in which severe anxiety is a salient symptom
psychosomatic disorder
a mental disorder that causes somatic symptoms
a disorder in one's mental state
conversion disorder, conversion hysteria, conversion reaction
a mental disorder characterized by the conversion of mental conflict into somatic forms (into paralysis or anesthesia having no apparent cause)
a usually brief state of excitement and mental confusion often accompanied by hallucinations
delusional disorder
any mental disorder in which delusions play a significant role
involuntary defecation not attributable to physical defects or illness
folie a deux
the simultaneous occurrence of symptoms of a mental disorder (as delusions) in two persons who are closely related (as siblings or man and wife)
personality disorder
inflexible and maladaptive patterns of behavior
affective disorder, emotional disorder, emotional disturbance, major affective disorder
any mental disorder not caused by detectable organic abnormalities of the brain and in which a major disturbance of emotions is predominant
resembling schizophrenia but remaining within the bounds of normality
neurosis, neuroticism, psychoneurosis
a mental or personality disturbance not attributable to any known neurological or organic dysfunction
aphonia, voicelessness
a disorder of the vocal organs that results in the loss of voice
flaccid bladder
a urinary bladder disorder resulting from interruption of the reflex arc normally associated with voiding urine; absence of bladder sensation and over-filling of the bladder and inability to urinate voluntarily
neurogenic bladder
a urinary bladder disorder caused by a lesion in the nervous system
spastic bladder
a urinary bladder disorder resulting from spinal cord lesion or multiple sclerosis or trauma; absence of bladder sensation and incontinence and interrupted voiding of urine
a speech disorder in which the same word is repeated several times in succession
impaired articulatory ability resulting from defects in the peripheral motor nerves or in the speech musculature
impaired ability to express ideas verbally; usually resulting from difficulties of reasoning (as in feeblemindedness or certain psychoses)
speech disorder attributable to a disorder of phonation
defective articulation of the `l' phoneme or the phoneme `r' is pronounced as `l'
speech defect involving excessive use or unusual pronunciation of the phoneme `l'
a speech defect that involves pronouncing `s' like voiceless `th' and `z' like voiced `th'
stammer, stutter
a speech disorder involving hesitations and involuntary repetitions of certain sounds
dissociative disorder
dissociation so severe that the usually integrated functions of consciousness and perception of self break down
Type of:
physical condition, physiological condition, physiological state
the condition or state of the body or bodily functions

n a disturbance of the peace or of public order

established customary state (especially of society)
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anarchy, lawlessness
a state of lawlessness and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government)
an unstable order
disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictably
riot, rioting
a state of disorder involving group violence
disorderliness, roughness, rowdiness, rowdyism
rowdy behavior
commotion, disruption, disturbance, flutter, hoo-ha, hoo-hah, hurly burly, kerfuffle, to-do
a disorderly outburst or tumult
discord, strife
lack of agreement or harmony
Sturm und Drang, turbulence, upheaval
a state of violent disturbance and disorder (as in politics or social conditions generally)
complete denial of all established authority and institutions
demoralisation, demoralization
a state of disorder and confusion
noisy confusion and turbulence
bedlam, chaos, pandemonium, topsy-turvydom, topsy-turvyness
a state of extreme confusion and disorder
a state of confusion
schemozzle, shemozzle
(Yiddish) a confused situation or affair; a mess
convulsion, turmoil, upheaval
a violent disturbance
a disturbance that is extremely disruptive
a public disturbance
splash, stir
a prominent or sensational but short-lived news event
storm, tempest
a violent commotion or disturbance
storm center, storm centre
a center of trouble or disturbance
garboil, tumult, tumultuousness, uproar
a state of commotion and noise and confusion
agitation, ferment, fermentation, tempestuousness, unrest
a state of agitation or turbulent change or development
roller coaster
anything characterized by abrupt and extreme changes (especially up and down)
a turbulent state resulting in injuries and destruction etc.
Type of:
the way something is with respect to its main attributes

v bring disorder to

bring order to or into
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mess, mess up
make a mess of or create disorder in
derange, perturb, throw out of kilter
throw into great confusion or disorder
disturb the arrangement of
jumble, scramble, throw together
bring into random order
randomise, randomize
arrange in random order
throw together in a confused mass
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v disturb in mind or make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed

cark, disquiet, distract, perturb, trouble, unhinge
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vex, worry
disturb the peace of mind of; afflict with mental agitation or distress
suggest fear or doubt
eat, eat on
worry or cause anxiety in a persistent way
worry persistently
Type of:
disturb, trouble, upset
move deeply

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