View synonyms for trouble


[ truhb-uhl ]

verb (used with object)

, trou·bled, trou·bling.
  1. to disturb the mental calm and contentment of; worry; distress; agitate.

    Synonyms: confuse, upset, concern

    Antonyms: delight, mollify

  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.

    Synonyms: badger, harass, hector, torment, fret, plague, pester

  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.

    Synonyms: suffering, care, agitation, grief, concern

  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.

    Synonyms: tribulation, trial, misfortune, affliction

  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.


/ ˈtrʌbəl /


  1. a state or condition of mental distress or anxiety
  2. a state or condition of disorder or unrest

    industrial trouble

  3. a condition of disease, pain, or malfunctioning

    she has liver trouble

  4. a cause of distress, disturbance, or pain; problem

    what is the trouble?

  5. effort or exertion taken to do something

    he 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 annoyance

    his trouble is that he's too soft

  8. plural
    1. political unrest or public disturbances
    2. political 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 )
“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


  1. tr to cause trouble to; upset, pain, or worry
  2. intrusually with a negative and foll byabout to put oneself to inconvenience; be concerned

    don't trouble about me

  3. intr; usually with a negative to take pains; exert oneself

    please don't trouble to write everything down

  4. tr to cause inconvenience or discomfort to

    does this noise trouble you?

  5. tr; usually passive to agitate or make rough

    the seas were troubled

  6. tr to interfere with

    he wouldn't like anyone to trouble his new bicycle

“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
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Derived Forms

  • ˈtroubler, noun
  • ˈtroubled, adjective
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Other Words From

  • troubled·ly adverb
  • troubled·ness noun
  • troubler noun
  • troubling·ly adverb
  • non·troubling adjective
  • over·trouble verb overtroubled overtroubling
  • self-troubled adjective
  • self-troubling adjective
  • un·troubled adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of trouble1

First recorded in 1175–1225; (for the verb) Middle English troublen, from Old French troubler, from Vulgar Latin turbulāre (unrecorded), derivative of turbulus (unrecorded) “turbid,” back formation from Latin turbulentus “restless, unruly”; noun derivative of the verb; turbulent
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Word History and Origins

Origin of trouble1

C13: from Old French troubler , from Vulgar Latin turbulāre (unattested), from Late Latin turbidāre , from turbidus confused, from turba commotion
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. in trouble, Informal. pregnant out of wedlock (used as a euphemism).

More idioms and phrases containing trouble

  • borrow trouble
  • fish in troubled waters
  • go to the trouble
  • in trouble with
  • pour oil on troubled waters
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Synonym Study

See care.
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Example Sentences

Given that, the charger has no trouble charging smartphones, tablets, or USB-C devices like the Nintendo Switch as quickly as possible, either.

Research has shown that kids who spend a lot of time on screens are more likely to have eye problems, weight problems and trouble with reading and language.

Using digital technology could help them not just give money away faster and more efficiently, it could also help them understand the state of the economy and adjust support measures to target the critical trouble spots.

Buy nowThe trouble with video workouts is that if you miss a beat, you fall behind.

The Cupertino, California-based company’s system status screens were also slow to indicate any trouble.

From Fortune

Freedom of speech, then, is sometimes not worth the trouble that comes with it.

The people who are involved in the violence, they figure out ways to remain here at all costs and continue causing trouble.

The Lion Air captain had left his rookie copilot to make the landing until he realized he was in trouble.

For years, Brooke even had trouble finding a publisher for his memoir, which was ultimately accepted by Rutgers University Press.

We are 80 percent Putin supporters today and tomorrow Khodorkovsky or Navalny might come to power and I will be in trouble.

With the management of these, however, the Earl of Pit Town did not trouble himself.

But you are English, or you are American; and men of those countries never misunderstand a woman, even if she is in trouble.

Brethren are a help in the time of trouble, but mercy shall deliver more than they.

Tobacco requires a great deal of skill and trouble in the right management of it.

Liszt sometimes strikes wrong notes when he plays, but it does not trouble him in the least.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




Troubetzkoytroubled waters