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

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 dated, informal : the state of being pregnant while unmarried 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


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

Other Words from trouble


troubler \ ˈtrə-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce trouble (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her entanglements are real, romantic, and doomed, the only inevitability being her own appetite for trouble. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 16 June 2022 Revlon’s bankruptcy could be a sign of more trouble to come for consumer brands, bankruptcy advisers said. Lauren Hirsch,, 16 June 2022 Revlon’s bankruptcy could be a sign of more trouble to come for consumer brands, bankruptcy advisers said. New York Times, 16 June 2022 And while its normal for some of that excitement to wear off, forgetting to factor your partner into decisions could be a sign of trouble. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 15 June 2022 Immediately behind them were several NHL officials, nervously scanning the room for trouble. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 14 June 2022 In the case of POTUS, a raucous feminist farce about seven extremely capable women tasked with keeping a very incapable commander-in-chief out of trouble, all hell breaks loose in the White House. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 12 June 2022 There weren’t any noticeable signs of trouble Friday until his early exit either. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2022 There’s been lots of trouble in the health department over the years. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 9 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The middle pedal requires a concerted shove, and overall stopping power wouldn’t trouble one modern carbon-ceramic disc. Tim Pitt, Robb Report, 31 May 2022 Such matters need not trouble you, as you have been misinformed about the basic premise. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 That is to say, don’t trouble yourselves, boys and girls. Maxim Osipov, The Atlantic, 16 May 2022 Even the increasing sloppy mud didn’t seem to trouble him. Roger Robinson, Outside Online, 10 Apr. 2022 Their defense has only been around league average since the break, which isn’t enough to trouble this Suns team. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 30 Mar. 2022 Last summer, something other than COVID-19 began to trouble Eddi Ortiz. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2022 The gain in stability is worth the hassle and sacrifice of pillar 1, but there’s one thing that continues to trouble me about the compromise. Robert Goulder, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 The next one to trouble us could be like Delta, speedy and a shade more severe yet still trounceable with existing vaccines. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for trouble


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

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

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trouble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for trouble


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.


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on trouble

Nglish: Translation of trouble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trouble for Arabic Speakers


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