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verb both·er \ˈbä-thər\

Simple Definition of bother

  • : to cause (someone) to feel troubled, worried, or concerned

  • : to annoy (someone) : to cause (someone) to feel annoyed

  • : to take the time to do something : to make an effort to do something

Full Definition of bother

both·eredboth·er·ing play \ˈbäth-riŋ, ˈbä-thə-\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to annoy especially by petty provocation :  irk

  3. 2 :  to intrude upon :  pester

  4. 3 :  to cause to be somewhat anxious or concerned <my stomach is bothering me> —often used interjectionally

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to become concerned <wouldn't bother with details>

  7. 2 :  to take pains :  take the trouble <never bothered to ask>

Examples of bother

  1. He's so easygoing. Nothing seems to bother him.

  2. Something he said at the meeting has been bothering me.

  3. The entire car trip was filled with complaints like, Mom, David keeps bothering me! and Will you tell him to quit bothering me?.

  4. Mother used to cook elaborate dinners, but with only herself to cook for, she doesn't bother anymore.

  5. Should I call later? No, don't bother.

  6. I'm not going to bother with the details.

Origin of bother

origin unknown

First Known Use: 1728

Synonym Discussion of bother

annoy, vex, irk, bother mean to upset a person's composure. annoy implies a wearing on the nerves by persistent petty unpleasantness <their constant complaining annoys us>. vex implies greater provocation and stronger disturbance and usually connotes anger but sometimes perplexity or anxiety <vexed by her son's failure to clean his room>. irk stresses difficulty in enduring and the resulting weariness or impatience of spirit <careless waste irks the boss>. bother suggests interference with comfort or peace of mind <don't bother me while I'm reading>.

Rhymes with bother



noun both·er

Simple Definition of bother

  • : someone or something that is annoying or that causes trouble

  • : trouble or difficulty

Full Definition of bother

  1. 1 a :  a state of petty discomfort, annoyance, or worry b :  something that causes petty annoyance or worry

  2. 2 :  fuss

Examples of bother

  1. Replacing the windows could be more of a bother than it's worth.

  2. I know what a bother driving into the city can be this time of day.

  3. Sorry to bother you. That's okay, it's no bother at all.

  4. I considered replacing that part of the floor but decided it wasn't worth the bother.

  5. He doesn't want the bother of filling out all those forms again.

  6. Will you mail this for me? It will save me the bother of going to the post office.


First Known Use of bother


Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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