Thesaurus

bother

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of bother

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to thrust oneself upon (another) without invitation
  • I am never going to get this work done if people don't stop wandering into the room and bothering me

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2 to disturb the peace of mind of (someone) especially by repeated disagreeable acts
  • it bothers me when obviously sick people go to movies and spend the whole time coughing and sneezing

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3 to experience concern or anxiety
  • just get the basic concept right and don't bother about the details

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bother

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of bother (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a state of noisy, confused activity
  • the whole household was in a bother, as our overnight guests were expected to arrive any minute

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2 one who is obnoxiously annoying
  • the woman next-door is such a bother—always dropping in at the most inopportune moments!

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4 the feeling of impatience or anger caused by another's repeated disagreeable acts
  • never let his personal bothers interfere with his responsibilities at work

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About bother

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

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Time Traveler for bother

Time Traveler

The first known use of bother was circa 1745

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Thesaurus Entries Near bother

botching

bother

botheration

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Cite this Entry

“Bother.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bother. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bother

Nglish: Translation of bother for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bother for Arabic Speakers

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