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[truhb-uh l] /ˈtrʌb əl/
verb (used with object), troubled, troubling.
to disturb the mental calm and contentment of; worry; distress; agitate.
to put to inconvenience, exertion, pains, or the like:
May I trouble you to shut the door?
to cause bodily pain, discomfort, or disorder to; afflict:
to be troubled by arthritis.
to annoy, vex, or bother:
Don't trouble her with petty complaints now.
to disturb, agitate, or stir up so as to make turbid, as water or wine:
A heavy gale troubled the ocean waters.
verb (used without object), troubled, troubling.
to put oneself to inconvenience, extra effort, or the like.
to be distressed or agitated mentally; worry:
She always troubled over her son's solitariness.
difficulty, annoyance, or harassment:
It would be no trouble at all to advise you.
unfortunate or distressing position, circumstance, or occurrence; misfortune:
Financial trouble may threaten security.
civil disorder, disturbance, or conflict:
political trouble in the new republic; labor troubles.
a physical disorder, disease, ailment, etc.; ill health:
heart trouble; stomach trouble.
mental or emotional disturbance or distress; worry:
Trouble and woe were her lot in life.
an instance of this:
some secret trouble weighing on his mind; a mother who shares all her children's troubles.
effort, exertion, or pains in doing something; inconvenience endured in accomplishing some action, deed, etc.:
The results were worth the trouble it took.
an objectionable feature; problem; drawback:
The trouble with your proposal is that it would be too costly to implement.
something or someone that is a cause or source of disturbance, distress, annoyance, etc.
a personal habit or trait that is a disadvantage or a cause of mental distress:
His greatest trouble is oversensitivity.
the Troubles.
  1. the violence and civil war in Ireland, 1920–22.
  2. the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, beginning in 1969.
in trouble, Informal. pregnant out of wedlock (used as a euphemism).
1175-1225; (v.) Middle English troublen < Old French troubler < Vulgar Latin *turbulare, derivative of *turbulus turbid, back formation from Latin turbulentus turbulent; (noun) Middle English < Middle French, derivative of troubler
Related forms
troubledly, adverb
troubledness, noun
troubler, noun
troublingly, adverb
nontroubling, adjective
overtrouble, verb, overtroubled, overtroubling.
self-troubled, adjective
self-troubling, adjective
untroubled, adjective
1. concern, upset, confuse. 4. pester, plague, fret, torment, hector, harass, badger. 12. concern, grief, agitation, care, suffering. 14. See care. 15. trial, tribulation, affliction, misfortune.
1. mollify; delight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for troubles
  • The lack of an inscription particularly troubles some scholars.
  • Ever defiant, he bragged to his sisters and friends that his troubles had increased both his sales and his prices.
  • If this troubles you, take it up with your made-up deity.
  • Some customers, however, might soon be backing out of purchase agreements due to financial troubles.
  • Nina's troubles are almost farcical in their multiplicity.
  • Either they don't know what the truth is or are showing their troubles and disapprovals in the form of argumentation.
  • But some deep-sea creatures have found a way to make light of their troubles.
  • The family sees little resolution of its troubles, except through the legal system.
  • But the state's fiscal troubles have nonetheless created a cash crisis for two-year colleges.
  • Most of the time, the rural crisis takes a back seat to more visible big-city troubles.
British Dictionary definitions for troubles


a state or condition of mental distress or anxiety
a state or condition of disorder or unrest: industrial trouble
a condition of disease, pain, or malfunctioning: she has liver trouble
a cause of distress, disturbance, or pain; problem: what is the trouble?
effort or exertion taken to do something: he took a lot of trouble over this design
liability to suffer punishment or misfortune (esp in the phrase be in trouble): he's in trouble with the police
a personal quality that is regarded as a weakness, handicap, or cause of annoyance: his trouble is that he's too soft
  1. political unrest or public disturbances
  2. the Troubles, political violence in Ireland during the 1920s or in Northern Ireland between the late 1960s and the late 1990s
the condition of an unmarried girl who becomes pregnant (esp in the phrase in trouble)
(transitive) to cause trouble to; upset, pain, or worry
(intransitive) usually with a negative and foll by about. to put oneself to inconvenience; be concerned: don't trouble about me
(intransitive; usually with a negative) to take pains; exert oneself: please don't trouble to write everything down
(transitive) to cause inconvenience or discomfort to: does this noise trouble you?
(transitive; usually passive) to agitate or make rough: the seas were troubled
(transitive) (Caribbean) to interfere with: he wouldn't like anyone to trouble his new bicycle
Derived Forms
troubled, adjective
troubler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French troubler, from Vulgar Latin turbulāre (unattested), from Late Latin turbidāre, from turbidus confused, from turba commotion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for troubles



early 13c., from Old French trubler (11c.), metathesis of turbler, from Vulgar Latin *turbulare, from Late Latin turbidare "to trouble, make turbid," from Latin turbidus (see turbid). Related: Troubled; troubling.


c.1200, "agitation of the mind, emotional turmoil," from Old French truble, related to trubler (see trouble (v.)). From early 15c. as "a concern, a cause for worry." The Troubles in reference to times of violence and unrest in Ireland is attested from 1880, in reference to the rebellion of 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for troubles

trot out

verb phrase

Toproduce anddisplay for admiration: Oh Lord, he's trotting out his war record again (1845+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with troubles
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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