verb (used with object), trou·bled, trou·bling.

verb (used without object), trou·bled, trou·bling.

to put oneself to inconvenience, extra effort, or the like.
to be distressed or agitated mentally; worry: She always troubled over her son's solitariness.


Nearby words

  1. trotyl,
  2. trou-de-loup,
  3. troubadour,
  4. troubadours,
  5. troubetzkoy,
  6. trouble man,
  7. trouble one's head with,
  8. trouble someone for,
  9. trouble spot,
  10. troubled


    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 forms

Synonym study

14. See care. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trouble

British Dictionary definitions for trouble



a state or condition of mental distress or anxiety
a state or condition of disorder or unrestindustrial trouble
a condition of disease, pain, or malfunctioningshe has liver trouble
a cause of distress, disturbance, or pain; problemwhat is the trouble?
effort or exertion taken to do somethinghe took a lot of trouble over this design
liability to suffer punishment or misfortune (esp in the phrase be in trouble)he's in trouble with the police
a personal quality that is regarded as a weakness, handicap, or cause of annoyancehis trouble is that he's too soft
  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
the condition of an unmarried girl who becomes pregnant (esp in the phrase in trouble)


(tr) to cause trouble to; upset, pain, or worry
(intr usually with a negative and foll by about) to put oneself to inconvenience; be concerneddon't trouble about me
(intr; usually with a negative) to take pains; exert oneselfplease don't trouble to write everything down
(tr) to cause inconvenience or discomfort todoes this noise trouble you?
(tr; usually passive) to agitate or make roughthe seas were troubled
(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 trouble
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with 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.