To disrupt is to interrupt or throw something into disorder. If you don't turn your phone off before a play, it might ring and disrupt the actors and the audience.

Disrupt goes back to the Latin root disrumpere, "to break apart." When you disrupt, you break someone's concentration, break up a routine, or break apart a system or order, as when bad weather disrupts the travel plans of people in airports. Even if your headphones keep the music in your ears only, singing out loud can disrupt those around you. A larger interruption would be if a war were to erupt. That would disrupt the peace of an entire region and its people.

Definitions of disrupt
  1. verb
    make a break in
    synonyms: break up, cut off, interrupt
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    cut, cut off
    cease, stop
    interrupt periodically
    interrupt the flow of current in
    put aside, put away
    turn away from and put aside, perhaps temporarily
    break, intermit, pause
    cease an action temporarily
    barge in, break in, butt in, chime in, chisel in, cut in, put in
    break into a conversation
    burst in on, burst upon
    spring suddenly
    challenge aggressively
    come in, inject, interject, interpose, put in, throw in
    to insert between other elements
    block, jam
    interfere with or prevent the reception of signals
    stop, stop over
    interrupt a trip
    take off, take time off
    take time off from work; stop working temporarily
    speak abruptly, especially as an interruption
    interfere in someone else's activity
    breathe, catch one's breath, rest, take a breather
    take a short break from one's activities in order to relax
    take five
    take a break for five minutes
    take ten
    take a ten minute break
    barrage jam
    jam an entire frequency spectrum
    point jam
    jam a narrow band of frequencies
    spot jam
    jam a single frequency
    blanket jam
    jam a broad spectrum of frequencies to affect all communications in the area except for directional antenna communications
    make a stop in a harbour
    lay over, stop over
    interrupt a journey temporarily, e.g., overnight
    type of:
    break, break off, discontinue, stop
    prevent completion
  2. verb
    throw into disorder
    “This event disrupted the orderly process”
  3. verb
    interfere in someone else's activity
    synonyms: interrupt
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    cut in
    interrupt a dancing couple in order to take one of them as one's own partner
    cut short
    cause to end earlier than intended
    type of:
    barge in, break in, butt in, chime in, chisel in, cut in, put in
    break into a conversation
Word Family

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