9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[both -er] /ˈbɒð ər/
verb (used with object)
to give trouble to; annoy; pester; worry:
His baby sister bothered him for candy.
to bewilder; confuse:
His inability to understand the joke bothered him.
verb (used without object)
to take the trouble; trouble or inconvenience oneself:
Don't bother to call. He has no time to bother with trifles.
something troublesome, burdensome, or annoying:
Doing the laundry every week can be a terrible bother.
effort, work, or worry:
Gardening takes more bother than it's worth.
a worried or perplexed state:
Don't get into such a bother about small matters.
someone or something that bothers or annoys:
My cousin is a perpetual bother to me.
Chiefly British. (used to express mild irritation.)
Origin of bother
1710-20; orig. Hiberno-English; probably by hypercorrection from bodder, an alternate early form; origin obscure
Related forms
unbothered, adjective
unbothering, adjective
1. harass, vex, irritate; molest, disturb. Bother, annoy, plague, tease imply persistent interference with one's comfort or peace of mind. Bother suggests causing trouble or weariness or repeatedly interrupting in the midst of pressing duties. To annoy is to vex or irritate by bothering. Plague is a strong word, connoting unremitting annoyance and harassment. To tease is to pester, as by long-continued whining and begging. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bothered
  • Otherwise why they are bothered about the species that were extinct million years ago.
  • What bothered me more than the inadequate fact checking was the general tenor of this article.
  • In his journal he wrote that he was not bothered by the residents' propensity for cannibalism.
  • It's only recently that anyone has bothered to study them.
  • But no one bothered to question whether the flag was, in fact, the real state flag.
  • Fortunately for anyone bothered by the horde, adult cicadas die not long after producing eggs.
  • They were not bothered about my presence but concentrating on their makeup and costumes.
  • He hasn't bothered to roll up his khaki pants, which are soaked to the knees.
  • Some people couldn't be bothered as they had places to go.
  • Once a hippo reaches one year, it is robust enough to stand its ground and is rarely bothered.
British Dictionary definitions for bothered


(transitive) to give annoyance, pain, or trouble to; irritate: his bad leg is bothering him again
(transitive) to trouble (a person) by repeatedly disturbing; pester: stop bothering your father!
(intransitive) to take the time or trouble; concern oneself: don't bother to come with me
(transitive) to make (a person) alarmed or confused: the thought of her husband's return clearly bothered her
a state of worry, trouble, or confusion
a person or thing that causes fuss, trouble, or annoyance
(informal) a disturbance or fight; trouble (esp in the phrase a spot of bother)
(mainly Brit) an exclamation of slight annoyance
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from Irish Gaelic bodhar deaf, vexed; compare Irish Gaelic buairim I vex
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 bothered



1718, probably from Anglo-Irish pother, because its earliest use was by Irish writers Sheridan, Swift, Sterne. Perhaps from Irish bodhairim "I deafen." Related: Bothered; bothering. As a noun from 1803.

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


Related Terms

hot and bothered

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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