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

Many Uighurs living abroad are reluctant to contact family members for fear of landing them in trouble with authorities, further making information hard to obtain. Josh Chin, WSJ, "Turkey Calls on China to End Mass Incarceration of Muslim Uighurs," 10 Feb. 2019 There have been tabloid rumors in the past that Witherspoon’s father, an ear, nose, and throat doctor, has had troubles with alcohol and money, among other things. Zoë Ghertner, Vogue, "Reese Witherspoon: Activist, Advocate, Hollywood’s Moral Compass," 10 Jan. 2019 Elephant attacks are common in Zimbabwe, but the animal usually has trouble with farmers, according to BBC. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "German tourist killed in elephant trampling, officials say," 28 Sep. 2018 The trouble is that there’s little evidence that the majority of Microsoft’s users have adopted it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's pledge to win back the consumer needs to be more than just words," 20 July 2018 Crsecanta Valley starting pitcher Shade Schaefer got into some trouble early, hitting Christian Kunz and Brandon Guzman in consecutive at-bats and walking Matthew Romeo to load the bases. Jeff Tully, latimes.com, "Huge first inning lifts Crescenta Valley Major All-Stars to baseball title," 12 July 2018 When the series returned for season 16 with a new replacement for Abby, viewers still had trouble accepting that the beloved forensic scientist was really gone. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Former 'NCIS' Star Pauley Perrette Shared a Throwback Photo That Made Fans So Emotional," 29 Jan. 2019 Economic challenges to the tech industry broadly shouldn’t spell trouble for Uber even if macroeconomic conditions worsen, Mr. Khosrowshahi said. Newley Purnell, WSJ, "Uber CEO Says Market Turmoil Won’t Derail IPO Plans," 8 Jan. 2019 This was not enough to save Blippar, though, and its fate reflects wider troubles for the AR and VR industries. James Vincent, The Verge, "Hyped AR startup Blippar crashes into financial reality," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 We are heartbroken by the loss of Miriam and deeply troubled by the disgusting acts of those responsible. Elaine Aradillas, PEOPLE.com, "Missing Ohio Mom's Body Is Found in Garbage Can — and Ex-Boyfriend Is Charged," 4 Apr. 2018 How Democracies Die helps one keep track of how serious the damage is, and what departures from past norms should trouble Americans the most. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 Holloway thinks it’s not the allegation that will trouble Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "In the Age of #MeToo, Will Christine Blasey Ford’s Experience Be the Same as Anita Hill’s?," 17 Sep. 2018 The deadliest attack in Pakistan’s troubled election campaign killed 70 people, including a candidate, in southwestern Baluchistan province on Friday ahead of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar, USA TODAY, "At least 74 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 13 July 2018 In a statement released Monday, Borough Mayor Harry Brower Jr. said he was deeply troubled by the shootings. Rachel D'oro, The Seattle Times, "Alaska fugitive charged with 2nd degree murder, assault," 30 Oct. 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

13 Mar 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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