Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

trouble

play
verb trou·ble \ˈtrə-bəl\

Simple Definition of trouble

  • : to make (someone) feel worried or upset

  • : to disturb or bother (someone)

  • : to cause (someone) to feel pain

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of trouble

troubled

troubling

play \ˈtrə-b(ə-)liŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to agitate mentally or spiritually :  worry, disturbb (1) archaic :  mistreat, oppress (2) :  to produce physical disorder in :  afflict <troubled by a cold>c :  to put to exertion or inconvenience <I'm sorry to trouble you>

  3. 2 :  to put into confused motion <the wind troubled the sea>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to become mentally agitated :  worry <refused to trouble over trifles>

  6. 2 :  to make an effort :  be at pains <did not trouble to come>

troubler

play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of trouble in a sentence

  1. The accusations troubled him deeply.

  2. I'm troubled by his strange behavior.

  3. I don't mean to trouble you, but I have a question.



Origin and Etymology of trouble

Middle English, from Anglo-French trubler, from Vulgar Latin *turbulare, from *turbulus agitated, alteration of Latin turbulentus — more at turbulent


First Known Use: 13th century


2

trouble

noun trou·ble

Simple Definition of trouble

  • : problems or difficulties

  • : a situation that is difficult or has a lot of problems

  • : a situation that occurs if you do something wrong or break a rule and which will make someone angry or cause you to be punished

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of trouble

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally

  2. 2 :  public unrest or disturbance <there's trouble brewing downtown>

  3. 3 :  an instance of trouble <used to disguise her frustrations and despair by making light of her troublesCurrent Biography>

  4. 4 :  a state or condition of distress, annoyance, or difficulty <in trouble with the law> <heading for trouble> <got into financial trouble>: asa :  a condition of physical distress or ill health :  ailment <back trouble> <heart trouble>b :  a condition of mechanical malfunction <engine trouble>c :  a condition of doing something badly or only with great difficulty <has trouble reading> <has trouble breathing>d :  pregnancy out of wedlock <got a girl in trouble>

  5. 5 :  an effort made :  pains <took the trouble to do it right>

  6. 6a :  a cause of distress, annoyance, or inconvenience <don't mean to be any trouble> <what's the trouble?>b :  a negative feature :  drawback <the trouble with you is you're too honest> <the main trouble with electronic systems is the overreliance on them — John Perham>c :  the unhappy or sad fact <the trouble is, I need the money>

Examples of trouble in a sentence

  1. The new system is giving me trouble.

  2. He was having trouble with his homework.

  3. I had a little trouble finding the place.

  4. He had no trouble finding a new job.

  5. gangs looking to make trouble

  6. When the new CEO arrived, the company was in trouble.

  7. She got into trouble with her credit cards.

  8. He's always getting in trouble at school.

  9. She has been having trouble with her knee.



13th Century

First Known Use of trouble

13th century

Rhymes with trouble



TROUBLE Defined for Kids

1

trouble

play
noun trou·ble \ˈtrə-bəl\

Definition of trouble for Students

  1. 1 :  something that causes worry or distress :  misfortune <I've suffered many troubles.>

  2. 2 :  an instance of distress or disturbance <Don't make trouble.>

  3. 3 :  extra work or effort <They took the trouble to write.>

  4. 4 :  ill health :  ailment <“Your trouble comes from years of wearing the wrong kind of shoes,” Jake lectured. — Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game>

  5. 5 :  failure to work normally <He had trouble with the engine.>




2

trouble

play
verb trou·ble

Definition of trouble for Students

troubled

troubling

  1. 1 :  to become or make worried or upset <… reading this book will make you feel anxious, because you will be troubled by the disturbing suspense … — Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator>

  2. 2 :  to produce physical disorder in :  afflict <He's troubled with weak knees.>

  3. 3 :  to put to inconvenience <Don't trouble yourself; I can do it.>

  4. 4 :  to make an effort <Do not trouble to write.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up trouble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

airtight or solitary

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

brumal hiemal vernal estival
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ