bother 1 of 2



2 of 2



Synonym Chooser

How does the verb bother differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of bother are annoy, irk, and vex. While all these words mean "to upset a person's composure," bother suggests interference with comfort or peace of mind.

don't bother me while I'm reading

In what contexts can annoy take the place of bother?

The words annoy and bother are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, annoy implies a wearing on the nerves by persistent petty unpleasantness.

their constant complaining annoys us

When can irk be used instead of bother?

Although the words irk and bother have much in common, irk stresses difficulty in enduring and the resulting weariness or impatience of spirit.

careless waste irks the boss

When is it sensible to use vex instead of bother?

The synonyms vex and bother are sometimes interchangeable, but vex implies greater provocation and stronger disturbance and usually connotes anger but sometimes perplexity or anxiety.

vexed by her son's failure to clean his room

Thesaurus Entries Near bother

Cite this Entry

“Bother.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on bother

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!