dis·or·der / disˈôrdər/ • n. a state of confusion: tiresome days of mess and disorder. ∎ the disruption of peaceful and law-abiding behavior: recurrent food crises led to periodic outbreaks of disorder. ∎ Med. a disruption of normal physical or mental functions; a disease or abnormal condition: eating disorders | an improved understanding of mental disorder. • v. [tr.] [usu. as adj.] (disordered) disrupt the systematic functioning or neat arrangement of: she went to comb her disordered hair his sleep is disordered. ∎ Med. disrupt the healthy or normal functioning of: a patient who is mentally disordered.
Disorder can be described as the absence of structure and differentiation. Its religious and scientific connotations have been negative in many cultures, identifying God as the source of creational order. In thermodynamics, the entropy of a closed system is a measure of its disorder, which can only increase in due course of time. Chaotic systems show disorder, insofar it is impossible to indefinitely predict the behavior of their elements. Still, an overall structural order can emerge from inherent disorder, which may indicate that systemic order is transcended disorder and that a certain amount of disorder is necessary for emergent and adaptive structural processes.
See also Chaos Theory; Emergence; Entropy
Disorder ★½ 2006 (R)
David Randall was accused of a double murder and sent to a mental hospital where he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Now released, David heads back to his hometown to prove his innocence but soon thinks that the same masked killer is now after his friend Melissa. His shrink and the sheriff think David has gone off his meds and may be dangerous. 103m/C DVD . Darren Kendrick, Lauren Seikaly, Thomas Ruderstaller, Alan Samulski, Sean Eager; D: Jack Thomas Smith; W: Jack Thomas Smith; C: Jonathan Belinski; M: Joel Goodman. VIDEO