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noun in·con·ve·nience \ˌin-kən-ˈvē-nyən(t)s\

Simple Definition of inconvenience

  • : trouble or problems

  • : something that causes trouble or problems : something that is inconvenient

Full Definition of inconvenience

  1. 1 :  something that is inconvenient

  2. 2 :  the quality or state of being inconvenient

Examples of inconvenience

  1. Needham was sorry to see him go, for although his high-handedness … had caused some inconvenience, his intelligence and courage were of the first water. —Simon Winchester, The Man Who Loved China, 2008

  2. Any wish or even longing I might have to see her produced no results; sometimes when she showed up it was actually inconvenient, but frustrated longing and inconvenience both ended the same way … —Jane Smiley, Good Faith, 2003

  3. Jem knew as well as I that it was difficult to walk fast without stumping a toe, tripping on stones, and other inconveniences, and I was barefooted. —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

  4. I hope this delay doesn't cause you any inconvenience.

  5. Bridge repairs cannot be done without some inconvenience to the public.

  6. Parking in the city can be a major inconvenience.

  7. The delay was an inconvenience.

Origin of inconvenience

Middle English, misfortune, inconsistency, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin inconvenientia, from Latin inconvenient-, inconveniens

First Known Use: 1534



verb in·con·ve·nience \ˌin-kən-ˈvē-nyən(t)s\

Simple Definition of inconvenience

  • : to cause trouble or problems for (someone)

Full Definition of inconvenience


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to cause problems or trouble for :  subject to inconvenience <sorry to inconvenience you>

Examples of inconvenience

  1. … I could count on one of my aunts to insist that she take me to some far-off corner of Nairobi to find the best bargains, no matter how long the trip took or how much it might inconvenience her. —Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father, (1995) 2004

  2. The work was inconvenienced by the time of year, there being only about three hours of natural light per day, but the pyroclastic spectacle made the darkness photogenic. —John McPhee, New Yorker, 22 Feb. 1988

  3. Medieval manuscripts are turgid with abbreviations, which favor the copyist although they inconvenience the reader. —Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy, (1982) 2002

  4. I wouldn't want to inconvenience you.

  5. We were inconvenienced by the bad weather.

Origin of inconvenience

(see 1inconvenience)

First Known Use: circa 1656

Seen and Heard

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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