verb (used with object), trou·bled, trou·bling.
  1. to disturb the mental calm and contentment of; worry; distress; agitate.
  2. to put to inconvenience, exertion, pains, or the like: May I trouble you to shut the door?
  3. to cause bodily pain, discomfort, or disorder to; afflict: to be troubled by arthritis.
  4. to annoy, vex, or bother: Don't trouble her with petty complaints now.
  5. to disturb, agitate, or stir up so as to make turbid, as water or wine: A heavy gale troubled the ocean waters.
verb (used without object), trou·bled, trou·bling.
  1. to put oneself to inconvenience, extra effort, or the like.
  2. to be distressed or agitated mentally; worry: She always troubled over her son's solitariness.
  1. difficulty, annoyance, or harassment: It would be no trouble at all to advise you.
  2. unfortunate or distressing position, circumstance, or occurrence; misfortune: Financial trouble may threaten security.
  3. civil disorder, disturbance, or conflict: political trouble in the new republic; labor troubles.
  4. a physical disorder, disease, ailment, etc.; ill health: heart trouble; stomach trouble.
  5. mental or emotional disturbance or distress; worry: Trouble and woe were her lot in life.
  6. an instance of this: some secret trouble weighing on his mind; a mother who shares all her children's troubles.
  7. effort, exertion, or pains in doing something; inconvenience endured in accomplishing some action, deed, etc.: The results were worth the trouble it took.
  8. an objectionable feature; problem; drawback: The trouble with your proposal is that it would be too costly to implement.
  9. something or someone that is a cause or source of disturbance, distress, annoyance, etc.
  10. a personal habit or trait that is a disadvantage or a cause of mental distress: His greatest trouble is oversensitivity.
  11. the Troubles,
    1. the violence and civil war in Ireland, 1920–22.
    2. the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, beginning in 1969.
  1. in trouble, Informal. pregnant out of wedlock (used as a euphemism).

Origin of trouble

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English troublen < Old French troubler < Vulgar Latin *turbulare, derivative of *turbulus turbid, back formation from Latin turbulentus turbulent; (noun) Middle English < Middle French, derivative of troubler
Related formstrou·bled·ly, adverbtrou·bled·ness, nountrou·bler, nountrou·bling·ly, adverbnon·trou·bling, adjectiveo·ver·trou·ble, verb, o·ver·trou·bled, o·ver·trou·bling.self-trou·bled, adjectiveself-trou·bling, adjectiveun·trou·bled, adjective

Synonyms for trouble

Synonym study

14. See care.

Antonyms for trouble Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for over-trouble


  1. a state or condition of mental distress or anxiety
  2. a state or condition of disorder or unrestindustrial trouble
  3. a condition of disease, pain, or malfunctioningshe has liver trouble
  4. a cause of distress, disturbance, or pain; problemwhat is the trouble?
  5. effort or exertion taken to do somethinghe took a lot of trouble over this design
  6. liability to suffer punishment or misfortune (esp in the phrase be in trouble)he's in trouble with the police
  7. a personal quality that is regarded as a weakness, handicap, or cause of annoyancehis trouble is that he's too soft
  8. (plural)
    1. political unrest or public disturbances
    2. the Troublespolitical violence in Ireland during the 1920s or in Northern Ireland between the late 1960s and the late 1990s
  9. the condition of an unmarried girl who becomes pregnant (esp in the phrase in trouble)
  1. (tr) to cause trouble to; upset, pain, or worry
  2. (intr usually with a negative and foll by about) to put oneself to inconvenience; be concerneddon't trouble about me
  3. (intr; usually with a negative) to take pains; exert oneselfplease don't trouble to write everything down
  4. (tr) to cause inconvenience or discomfort todoes this noise trouble you?
  5. (tr; usually passive) to agitate or make roughthe seas were troubled
  6. (tr) Caribbean to interfere withhe wouldn't like anyone to trouble his new bicycle
Derived Formstroubled, adjectivetroubler, noun

Word Origin for trouble

C13: from Old French troubler, from Vulgar Latin turbulāre (unattested), from Late Latin turbidāre, from turbidus confused, from turba commotion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for over-trouble

1580s, from over- + trouble (v.). Related: Over-troubled; over-troubling.



early 13c., from Old French trubler (11c.), metathesis of turbler, from Vulgar Latin *turbulare, from Late Latin turbidare "to trouble, make turbid," from Latin turbidus (see turbid). Related: Troubled; troubling.



c.1200, "agitation of the mind, emotional turmoil," from Old French truble, related to trubler (see trouble (v.)). From early 15c. as "a concern, a cause for worry." The Troubles in reference to times of violence and unrest in Ireland is attested from 1880, in reference to the rebellion of 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with over-trouble


In addition to the idioms beginning with trouble

  • trouble one's head with
  • trouble someone for

also see:

  • borrow trouble
  • fish in troubled waters
  • go to the trouble
  • in trouble with
  • pour oil on troubled waters
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.