[noo-suhns, nyoo-]
an obnoxious or annoying person, thing, condition, practice, etc.: a monthly meeting that was more nuisance than pleasure.
Law. something offensive or annoying to individuals or to the community, especially in violation of their legal rights.

1375–1425; late Middle English nu(i)sa(u)nce < Anglo-French, equivalent to nuis(er) to harm (≪ Latin nocēre) + -ance -ance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nuisance (ˈnjuːsəns)
1.  a.  a person or thing that causes annoyance or bother
 b.  (as modifier): nuisance calls
2.  law something unauthorized that is obnoxious or injurious to the community at large (public nuisance) or to an individual, esp in relation to his ownership or occupation of property (private nuisance)
3.  nuisance value the usefulness of a person's or thing's capacity to cause difficulties or irritation
[C15: via Old French from nuire to injure, from Latin nocēre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1410, "injury, hurt, harm," from Anglo-Fr. nusaunce, from O.Fr. nuisance, from pp. stem of nuire "to harm," from L. nocere "to hurt" (see noxious). Sense has softened over time, to "anything obnoxious to a community" (bad smells, pests, eyesores), 1661, then "source of
annoyance, something personally disagreeable" (1831). Applied to persons from 1695.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see make a nuisance of oneself.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Slugs and snails can be a severe nuisance.
It was more of a nuisance than a serious health hazard.
You're the one posting on a comment page for no other reason than to be a
Shopping can be a delight or a nuisance.
Idioms & Phrases
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