Definition of perturbation in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Anxiety; mental uneasiness.

    ‘she sensed her friend's perturbation’
    • ‘It caused mass perturbation in Ireland and had the whole country in a flap when it was published - and no wonder.’
    • ‘The joy in anticipating the arrival of the child is often replaced with perturbation and anxiety.’
    • ‘If his character needed to express perturbation, Reagan furrowed his brow.’
    • ‘The British and American governments accepted the rejection of treaty revision without too much perturbation.’
    • ‘Henry's reaction to her was exactly the same as my husband's to me, perturbation.’
    • ‘One who is not the source of annoyance to the world, one who never feels offended with the world, one who is free from both delight and anger, perturbation and fear, ‘that devotee is dear to Me’.’
    • ‘His features went from a little annoyed at me, to shock, surprise, perturbation, and then something like a tightly constricted anger.’
    • ‘I read your article on the plans to charge ‘tourists’ an entry fee to visit the City Art Gallery with some perturbation.’
    • ‘I think a bit of perturbation is needed in the sport anyway.’
    • ‘You may not entirely sympathize with his auto-hypnotic perturbation of mind, but you certainly feel like you've been a little hypnotized yourself.’
    • ‘The Dude looks up, one hand flicks his hair out of eyes in perturbation.’
    • ‘After a warm reception from my inmate brethren, today, I found out that one yahoo can cause considerable perturbation.’
    • ‘A bad argument is like a bad marriage, marked by rage, perturbation, bewilderment, and stubbornness.’
    • ‘In disposition is that transitory melancholy which goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief, passion or perturbation of the mind.’
    • ‘As a romantic, I prefer to think that the marriage was based on real love, even if there was some natural perturbation on Masako's side.’
    terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress
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    1. 1.1[count noun]A cause of anxiety or uneasiness.
      ‘Frank's atheism was more than a perturbation to Michael’
      • ‘For all my perturbations it was nothing to worry about.’
      • ‘This 31-day period of perturbations probably has a great deal more to do with things that go bump in the night than many care to admit in front of their friends and family.’
      • ‘The passivity of passions and the stirrings of perturbations may initially seem at odds with one another: the one at rest, the other in motion; the one inactive, the other driving.’
      • ‘As someone who thought of anti-Americanism as a temporary perturbation, I do think he is massaging the evidence and overstating his thesis a bit.’
  • 2A deviation of a system, moving object, or process from its regular or normal state or path, caused by an outside influence.

    ‘these shifts and swings in wildlife populations are possibly related to climatic perturbations’
    • ‘However, due to the periodic perturbation, the pressure is not constant, and the state of the system is not well defined.’
    • ‘The results of the perturbation process are shown in Table 1.’
    • ‘Because the perturbation occurs outside the protein-binding area the protein binding seems to be unaffected.’
    • ‘This last method, restricted to the harmonic elasticity regime, does not require any external perturbations imposed on the system.’
    • ‘It becomes apparent that these perturbations in the system beget a very different perception of one's body and of one's sense of pain and suffering.’
    • ‘A central theme in the study of social systems is the perturbations caused by ‘newness.’’
    • ‘The relaxation is probably dominated by the state with the fastest relaxation during the continuous perturbation process.’
    • ‘Such changes are presumably the result of perturbations in signalling and regulatory networks as a result of the presence of the introgressed alleles.’
    • ‘Sometimes a small perturbation of a system could cause it to switch from one pattern to another.’
    • ‘Thus some environmental perturbations may be detected by components of the gastrovascular system, which may then integrate the environmental inputs and produce an altered pattern of system-level behavior.’
    • ‘The numerical perturbation method uses a computer to numerically process perturbations.’
    • ‘Likewise, the Vietnam War and international trade are brought in to help explain perturbations in demographic processes that appear unexplained by relative cohort size and relative income.’
    • ‘The neoclassical view starts from a paradigm of competitive equilibrium and considers shocks to the system and perturbations of cost and demand.’
    • ‘In an unstable system perturbations tend to grow.’
    • ‘The conformation of the DNA molecule in solution is fluctuating constantly due to thermal perturbations.’
    • ‘Due to the perturbation in local water structure, the amount of water released shows considerable variations along the recognition sequence.’
    • ‘Long-range perturbations due to DPH are hence not expected.’
    • ‘Cancer, for instance, is to a large extent a perturbation of negative regulation.’
    • ‘Recovery from local perturbations was usually rapid due to immigration from surrounding populations.’
    • ‘These data are consistent with the notion that the perturbation to the system due to the UV light pulse was minimal to the overall function of the mitochondria.’
    fluster, fuss, bustle, whirl, stir, ferment, hubbub, commotion, hustle, tumult
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    1. 2.1Astronomy A minor deviation in the course of a celestial body, caused by the attraction of a neighbouring body.
      • ‘He also studied magnetic induction and the three body problem where he applied his work to the perturbations of Jupiter and Saturn.’
      • ‘These presumably cometary bodies, which reach several hundred kilometers in size, are vulnerable to severe perturbations by these planets.’
      • ‘Gravity working over billions of years would have magnified these perturbations into the universe we observe today.’
      • ‘The claimed discoveries were to the southwest of the Sun, whereas any body causing the charted perturbations of Mercury would need to have been to the east.’
      • ‘Alternative cosmologies try to account for these perturbations in different ways.’


Late Middle English: from Latin perturbatio(n-), from the verb perturbare disturb greatly (see perturb).