trouble
Pronunciation
  • (RP) enPR: trŭbʹəl; IPA: /ˈtɹʌb(ə)l/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈtɹʌb(ə)l/, /ˈtɹə-/
Noun

trouble

  1. A distressing or dangerous situation.
    He was in trouble when the rain started.
  2. A difficulty, problem, condition, or action contributing to such a situation.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book XI”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Lest the fiend […] some new trouble raise.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      Foul whisperings are abroad; unnatural deeds / Do breed unnatural troubles.
    The trouble was a leaking brake line.   The trouble with that suggestion is that we lack the funds to put it in motion.   The bridge column magnified the trouble with a slight tilt in the wrong direction.
  3. A violent occurrence or event.
    the troubles in Northern Ireland
  4. Efforts taken or expended, typically beyond the normal required.
    • She never took the trouble to close them.
    • 1881, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque:
      Indeed, by the report of our elders, this nervous preparation for old age is only trouble thrown away.
    It's no trouble for me to edit it.
  5. A malfunction.
    He's been in hospital with some heart trouble.   My old car has engine trouble.
  6. Liability to punishment; conflict with authority.
    He had some trouble with the law.
  7. (mining) A fault or interruption in a stratum.
  8. (Cockney rhyming slang) Wife. Clipping of trouble and strife#English|trouble and strife.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

trouble (troubles, present participle troubling; past and past participle troubled)

  1. (transitive, now, rare) To disturb, stir up, agitate (a medium, especially water).
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, John 5:4 ↗:
      For an Angel went downe at a certaine season into the poole, and troubled the water:
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book X ↗”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, line 1100:
      God looking forth will trouble all his Hoſt
  2. (transitive) To mentally distress; to cause (someone) to be anxious or perplexed.
    What she said about narcissism is troubling me.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, John 12:27 ↗:
      Now is my soule troubled, and what shall I say? Father, saue me from this houre, but for this cause came I vnto this houre.
    • c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i], page 281 ↗, column 2:
      Take the Boy to you: he ſo troubles me, / 'Tis paſt enduring.
    • 1693, [John Locke], “§65”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], OCLC 1161614482 ↗, page 68 ↗:
      Never trouble your ſelf about thoſe Faults in them, which you know Age will cure.
  3. (transitive) In weaker sense: to bother or inconvenience.
    I will not trouble you to deliver the letter.
  4. (reflexive or intransitive) To take pains to do something.
    I won't trouble to post the letter today; I can do it tomorrow.
  5. (intransitive) To worry; to be anxious.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.26:
      Why trouble about the future? It is wholly uncertain.
Related terms Translations


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