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

Nearly two million people who have owned or leased one of the cars with the PowerShift transmission stand to get at least some repayment for their trouble. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "What You Need to Know about Ford's PowerShift Transmission Problems," 13 May 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Tim Groeling, an expert on political communication and new media at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the anonymity sought by the Democratic group was what troubled him. Tami Abdollah, The Seattle Times, "Mystery: Who bought websites implying US senators ‘for sale’," 24 July 2018 But mostly what troubles him is the fact that no one else seems to really care — a typical fate for middle children. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "The Extinction of the Middle Child," 11 July 2018 But here’s the piece of Chang’s demise that troubles me. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "Another BPS superintendent has come and gone. Now what?," 1 July 2018 President Barack Obama played basketball until his knees began troubling him, switching later to cardio work on machines in the White House residence. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump's weight-loss regimen: fish and half a bun," 30 May 2018 After Rockets guard Chris Paul had denied for several days that there was anything wrong with his right foot that seemed to be troubling him, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said after Game 4 Paul's health had improved. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets' Chris Paul says foot feeling better was 'huge difference'," 23 May 2018 The viceroy needn't trouble himself with such details. Anchorage Daily News, "All hail Ryan Zinke, our imperial viceroy," 21 Mar. 2018 Whether the Democrats were to blame or not for the closing is not why your comments troubled me. Cindy Caldwell, cleveland.com, "Beachwood Chamber Welcomes Guest Speaker Tim Sarko of the U.S. Census Bureau at its Feb. 21st Luncheon; community voices," 30 Jan. 2018 In his book, Biden writes that some parts of that crime bill always troubled him, including its three-strikes-and-you’re-out provision that sent some federal lawbreakers to prison for life. Matthew Cooper, Newsweek, "Joe Biden Can Beat Trump in 2020, but Will the Democratic Party Let Him Run?," 27 Dec. 2017

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

22 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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