1

trouble

play
noun trou·ble \ ˈtrə-bəl \

Definition of trouble

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 troubles
  • Current 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
6 a :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 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.

Recent Examples of trouble from the Web

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.

First Known Use of trouble

13th century


2

trouble

verb

Definition of trouble

troubled; troubling play \ˈtrə-b(ə-)liŋ\
transitive verb
1 a :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

troubler

play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

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.

Recent Examples of trouble from the Web

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.

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

trouble Synonyms


TROUBLE Defined for English Language Learners

trouble

play
verb

Definition of trouble for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) feel worried or upset

  • : to disturb or bother (someone)

  • : to cause (someone) to feel pain


trouble

noun

Definition of trouble for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

trouble

play
noun trou·ble \ ˈtrə-bəl \

Definition of trouble for Students

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.

2

trouble

verb

Definition of trouble for Students

troubled; troubling
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.


Seen and Heard

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