Why was clemency trending last week?


[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 bothering
  • These first things are made invariably without bothering the wearer with fitting.
  • Have students share their pieces of information and theories of what ailment is bothering the patient.
  • They decided to camp on the spot, not bothering to pitch their tent.
  • Despite the lack of polarization, these prevent bright reflections from bothering me too much.
  • It speeds up composting and kept animals from bothering my compost pile.
  • Obviously it's not worth bothering with for weapon purposes.
  • Something has really been bothering me about this article.
  • No information about the pilot, contacts with the tower, or any other information worthy of bothering with an article.
  • The natural predators were removed many years ago-they were bothering the cattle.
  • It has been bothering him to think that an actor could so perfectly play him.
British Dictionary definitions for bothering


(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 bothering



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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