to disturb the mental calm and contentment of; worry; distress; agitate.
to put to inconvenience, exertion, pains, or the like: May I trouble you to shut the door?
to cause bodily pain, discomfort, or disorder to; afflict: to be troubled by arthritis.
to annoy, vex, or bother: Don't trouble her with petty complaints now.
to disturb, agitate, or stir up so as to make turbid, as water or wine: A heavy gale troubled the ocean waters.
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.
difficulty, annoyance, or harassment: It would be no trouble at all to advise you.
unfortunate or distressing position, circumstance, or occurrence; misfortune: Financial trouble may threaten security.
civil disorder, disturbance, or conflict: political trouble in the new republic; labor troubles.
a physical disorder, disease, ailment, etc.; ill health: heart trouble; stomach trouble.
mental or emotional disturbance or distress; worry: Trouble and woe were her lot in life.
an instance of this: some secret trouble weighing on his mind; a mother who shares all her children's troubles.
effort, exertion, or pains in doing something; inconvenience endured in accomplishing some action, deed, etc.: The results were worth the trouble it took.
an objectionable feature; problem; drawback: The trouble with your proposal is that it would be too costly to implement.
something or someone that is a cause or source of disturbance, distress, annoyance, etc.
a personal habit or trait that is a disadvantage or a cause of mental distress: His greatest trouble is oversensitivity.
the violence and civil war in Ireland, 1920–22.
the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, beginning in 1969.
Idioms about trouble
in trouble, Informal. pregnant out of wedlock (used as a euphemism).
- trou·bled·ly, adverb
- trou·bled·ness, noun
- troubler, noun
- trou·bling·ly, adverb
- non·trou·bling, adjective
- o·ver·trou·ble, verb, o·ver·trou·bled, o·ver·trou·bling.
- self-troubled, adjective
- self-troubling, adjective
- un·trou·bled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use trouble in a sentence
Students who write proofs for the first time can have trouble knowing what they need and understanding the logical structure.How Close Are Computers to Automating Mathematical Reasoning? | Stephen Ornes | August 27, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
On city streets, they can be more trouble than they’re worth.
“If we’re selecting for animals that produce more without having a way to cool off, we’re going to run into trouble,” she says.Biotechnology Could Change the Cattle Industry. Will It Succeed? | Dyllan Furness | August 16, 2020 | Singularity Hub
In primary elections over the last few months, states that rapidly expanded mail voting often had trouble delivering ballots to voters on time.Why We’re Planning For An Election Day That Could Last Months | Nathaniel Rakich (email@example.com) | August 14, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
A prominent North County Republican shouldn’t have this much trouble.Politics Report: Bry, Lawson-Remer Dominate Fundraising | Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts | August 8, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
Those are troubling numbers, for unfettered speech is not incidental to a flourishing society.
What is most troubling is our – and I do mean “our” and not “their” – never treating these situations as learning opportunities.
Which was sweet and also troubling, because it meant that I have never shut up about wanting to be Peter Pan.The Cast of ‘Peter Pan Live!’ Knows You Hatewatched ‘The Sound of Music’ | Kevin Fallon | December 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
These are two in a laundry list of troubling connections between the two companies.The Pipeline From Hell: There’s No Good Reason to Build Keystone XL | Jack Holmes | November 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
None of this would be so troubling if the use of zero-days in Stuxnet were an isolated event.
Indeed, indeed, Mr. Spurrell, we couldn't think of troubling you under the circumstances!
I am very much obliged for your continued favours, and beg pardon for so often troubling you.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2) | Francis Trevithick
As he was bowing his farewell, a sudden impulse to speak, and set the matter that was troubling her at rest, came over her.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
These gentlemen respected me for myself alone without troubling their heads about my ancestors.A Woman's Journey Round the World | Ida Pfeiffer
His robe was handed back to him, and he was left to lie there, no one troubling himself further about him.The Border Rifles | Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for trouble
a state or condition of mental distress or anxiety
a state or condition of disorder or unrest: industrial trouble
a condition of disease, pain, or malfunctioning: she has liver trouble
a cause of distress, disturbance, or pain; problem: what is the trouble?
effort or exertion taken to do something: he 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 annoyance: his trouble is that he's too soft
political unrest or public disturbances
the Troubles political 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 concerned: don't trouble about me
(intr; usually with a negative) to take pains; exert oneself: please don't trouble to write everything down
(tr) to cause inconvenience or discomfort to: does this noise trouble you?
(tr; usually passive) to agitate or make rough: the seas were troubled
(tr) Caribbean to interfere with: he wouldn't like anyone to trouble his new bicycle
- troubled, adjective
- troubler, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with trouble
In addition to the idioms beginning with trouble
- trouble one's head with
- trouble someone for
- 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.