disrupt Definition

  • 1interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem
  • 2drastically alter or destroy the structure of (something)
  • 3to prevent something from continuing in its usual way

Using disrupt: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "disrupt" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The storm disrupted the power supply.

  • Example

    The construction work is disrupting the flow of traffic.

  • Example

    The new technology has disrupted the traditional business model.

  • Example

    The pandemic has disrupted our daily lives.

disrupt Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for disrupt

Antonyms for disrupt

Idioms Using disrupt

  • to cause disruption or problems that prevent something from progressing smoothly


    The unexpected resignation of the CEO threw a spanner in the works for the company's expansion plans.

  • to disrupt or upset a situation that is otherwise stable or predictable


    The sudden departure of the team captain upset the applecart for the rest of the season.

  • put a spoke in someone's wheel

    to deliberately obstruct or disrupt someone's plans or activities


    The rival company put a spoke in our wheel by launching a similar product just before our launch date.

Phrases with disrupt

  • a new technology that significantly alters the way that businesses operate and compete


    The rise of smartphones was a disruptive technology that changed the way we communicate and access information.

  • a new product or service that creates a new market and disrupts an existing market


    Netflix was a disruptive innovation that revolutionized the way we watch movies and TV shows.

  • behavior that is likely to cause problems or to interrupt the normal course of events


    The teacher had to deal with disruptive behavior in the classroom.

Origins of disrupt

from Latin 'disruptus', meaning 'broken apart'


Summary: disrupt in Brief

To 'disrupt' [dɪsˈrʌpt] means to interrupt or drastically alter a process or structure. It can refer to physical disturbances like a storm or construction work, or to technological innovations that change the way businesses operate. Examples include 'The pandemic has disrupted our daily lives,' and 'The new technology has disrupted the traditional business model.' Idioms like 'throw a spanner in the works' and 'upset the applecart' describe the effects of disruption on a situation.

How do native speakers use this expression?