trouble

noun
trou·​ble | \ ˈtrə-bəl How to pronounce trouble (audio) \

Definition of trouble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally
2 : public unrest or disturbance there's trouble brewing downtown
3 : an instance of trouble used to disguise her frustrations and despair by making light of her troublesCurrent Biography
4 : a state or condition of distress, annoyance, or difficulty in trouble with the law heading for trouble got into financial trouble : such as
a : 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 : an effort made : pains took the trouble to do it right
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

trouble

verb
troubled; troubling\ ˈtrə-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce troubling (audio) \

Definition of trouble (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to agitate mentally or spiritually : worry, disturb
b : to put to exertion or inconvenience I'm sorry to trouble you
c(1) : to produce physical disorder in : afflict troubled by a cold
(2) archaic : mistreat, oppress
2 : to put into confused motion the wind troubled the sea

intransitive verb

1 : to become mentally agitated : worry refused to trouble over trifles
2 : to make an effort : be at pains did not trouble to come

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Other Words from trouble

Verb

troubler \ ˈtrə-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce troubler (audio) \ noun

Examples of trouble in a Sentence

Noun

The new system is giving me trouble. He was having trouble with his homework. I had a little trouble finding the place. He had no trouble finding a new job. gangs looking to make trouble When the new CEO arrived, the company was in trouble. She got into trouble with her credit cards. He's always getting in trouble at school. She has been having trouble with her knee.

Verb

The accusations troubled him deeply. I'm troubled by his strange behavior. I don't mean to trouble you, but I have a question.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It’s hard to imagine Mark having any trouble with his finances now, as the busy dad is apparently worth $4.1 billion. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Shark Tank' Star Mark Cuban Was Once so 'Broke' He Couldn't Open a Bank Account," 28 Apr. 2019 Some of China’s plans to increase U.S. purchases could also run into trouble with American business groups and companies. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "China Seeks to Woo U.S. With Promise of Big Chip Purchases," 14 Feb. 2019 Brighton, though, is still in trouble after being hammered 5-0 at home by Bournemouth to drop to 17th place. Mattias Karen, The Seattle Times, "United stays in hunt for top 4, Cardiff close to relegation," 13 Apr. 2019 American history is in trouble—the discipline, that is. Jason Willick, WSJ, "‘How to Hide an Empire’ Review: The Greater United States," 13 Mar. 2019 If its leaves are beginning to change color, that could mean your soil is in trouble. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "11 Surprising Ways to Use Your Baking Soda," 6 Mar. 2019 The little rover, which can carry upwards of 50 pounds of cargo, is packed with sensors including LIDAR, GPS, sonar, and a computer vision camera that helps it get around without causing too much trouble on pedestrian pathways. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Postmates’ new autonomous robot wants to deliver your sushi," 17 Dec. 2018 Ghesquière, likewise, has no trouble explaining what drew him to Vikander. Harper's BAZAAR, "Alicia Vikander Leaps to New Heights—in Life and Fashion," 13 Mar. 2019 The compromise measure was having trouble winning broad Republican support despite fully appropriating $25 billion for President Trump's border wall. Gregg Re, Fox News, "House GOP abruptly scraps planned vote on troubled immigration bill, saying it could pass next week," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The jail records come weeks after details of Cruz’s troubled past were released. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Nikolas Cruz indicted on 17 counts of murder, jail records reveal odd behavior in days after Florida massacre," 2 Oct. 2018 On the other hand, Russell was reported to have been profoundly troubled, whereas Malaysian authorities were unable to find any evidence that Shah suffered from mental illness or was undergoing any kind of stress in his life. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "It's Troublingly Common for Ground Crew Members To Steal Planes," 13 Aug. 2018 Most of the decline came in GE’s troubled power business, which has struggled with excess capacity and sold part of its operations to private-equity firms. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "GE Shed 30,000 Workers Last Year," 26 Feb. 2019 This is an entirely accurate assessment, but also a troubling one. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "We aren’t alarmed enough about Jeff Sessions’s firing," 8 Nov. 2018 Republican Party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel described the tweets as troubling within the context to Twitter’s purported efforts to drive healthier conversations. Fox News, "Twitter brings in anti-Trump academics to combat intolerance," 2 Oct. 2018 The remarks are intended to reassure Democratic senators troubled by Barr’s past comments on the special counsel’s probe, including the unsolicited memo. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s AG nominee defends memo criticizing Mueller probe," 15 Jan. 2019 The truth is that most Republican members’ constituents have been apparently little troubled by this and other developments. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Report: Trump tabloid pal cut deal with feds," 24 Aug. 2018 Xie comes across as a magician of perspective and scale, troubled by her own virtuosic illusions. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Jenny Xie Writes a Sightseer’s Guide to the Self," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trouble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of trouble

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for trouble

Verb

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

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Statistics for trouble

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trouble

The first known use of trouble was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for trouble

trouble

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trouble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

trouble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of trouble (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (someone) feel worried or upset
formal : to disturb or bother (someone)
: to cause (someone) to feel pain

trouble

noun
trou·​ble | \ ˈtrə-bəl How to pronounce trouble (audio) \

Kids Definition of trouble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that causes worry or distress : misfortune I've suffered many troubles.
2 : an instance of distress or disturbance Don't make trouble.
3 : extra work or effort They took the trouble to write.
4 : ill health : ailment “Your trouble comes from years of wearing the wrong kind of shoes,” Jake lectured.— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game
5 : failure to work normally He had trouble with the engine.

trouble

verb
troubled; troubling

Kids Definition of trouble (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : to produce physical disorder in : afflict He's troubled with weak knees.
3 : to put to inconvenience Don't trouble yourself; I can do it.
4 : to make an effort Do not trouble to write.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trouble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trouble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trouble

Spanish Central: Translation of trouble

Nglish: Translation of trouble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trouble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trouble

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