Definition of trouble in English:


See synonyms for trouble

Translate trouble into Spanish


  • 1Difficulty or problems.

    ‘I had trouble finding somewhere to park’
    • ‘friends should support each other when they are in trouble’
    • ‘the scheme ran into trouble’
    • ‘our troubles are just beginning’
    • ‘Others face pressures which can affect their commitment to college, such as financial difficulties, housing problems, or troubles at home.’
    • ‘So, travelers from both sides suffer lots of troubles and inconveniences, such as difficulties in booking seats and paying overly expensive rates.’
    • ‘The troubles and tribulations of parents to equip their wards for their examination and mushroom growth of coaching centres do not augur well for students, parents or society.’
    • ‘It was failure - business failure, money problems, family troubles - as much as ambition that sent men to the colonies.’
    • ‘The car industry's troubles reflect widespread problems across Australia's manufacturing sector.’
    • ‘Roh himself had suffered troubles on many occasions due to his aides' blunders.’
    • ‘He explains why their troubles were only beginning.’
    • ‘Hynotherapy is administered by his ‘guru’ orthodontist, however his troubles are only just beginning.’
    • ‘But you saw me go, and that was the beginning of my troubles.’
    • ‘Of course, that's just the beginning of your troubles, according to Chris.’
    • ‘A few people probably went a tad overboard in suggesting solutions to our troubles, a little bit difficult to do successfully when you know the barest minimum about the situation.’
    • ‘This, once again, is a consequence, the difficulty is a consequence of the worldwide financial troubles of the parent company.’
    • ‘All the ladies are extremely happy to be joining the group as it brings us all together to share news and views and, if needs be, troubles and problems.’
    • ‘For many, music serves as an outlet from life's hardships and troubles.’
    • ‘He quietly worked out his own problems, choosing not to burden others with his troubles.’
    • ‘Adding to his troubles, he suffered from an overactive thyroid and had an awkward physical appearance.’
    • ‘In many ways, it's the beginning of all his troubles.’
    • ‘Everyone has their fair share of troubles and problems that other people don't even know about.’
    • ‘All I wanted to do was run, run away from all my misery and troubles.’
    • ‘No matter how ill she was, she always enjoyed a chat and a laugh and was never one to burden people with her troubles.’
    problems, difficulty, issues, bother, inconvenience, worry, anxiety, distress, concern, disquiet, unease, irritation, vexation, annoyance, stress, agitation, harassment, unpleasantness
    problem, misfortune, difficulty, issue, trial, tribulation, trauma, adversity, hardship, burden, distress, pain, suffering, affliction, torment, woe, grief, unhappiness, sadness, heartache, misery
    in difficulty, in difficulties, having problems, in a mess, in a bad way, in a predicament, in desperate straits, in dire straits, heading for disaster, heading for the rocks, with one's back against the wall
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The malfunction of something such as a machine or a part of the body.
      ‘their helicopter developed engine trouble’
      • ‘He said afterwards that his towing aircraft was either hit by flak or developed engine trouble.’
      • ‘They were to being given an airborne tour of the area when the helicopter developed trouble.’
      • ‘Eddie and Paddy developed engine trouble while Padraic and Sinead broke a drive shaft on the last stage.’
      • ‘The Piper Saratoga developed engine trouble and broke up as it hit the moor in thick mist.’
      • ‘They said the plane's pilots had asked for an emergency landing at Lyon Airport after it developed engine trouble.’
      • ‘Sure enough, the aircraft developed engine trouble and crashed into the Pacific.’
      • ‘Stromness lifeboat was called out on Sunday evening after a fishing boat with engine trouble began drifting towards shore near the Bay of Skaill.’
      • ‘It is believed that the accident happened when the five bikes were forced to swerve to avoid another bike, which had slowed down because of engine trouble.’
      • ‘Reportedly, the crew ordered the immigrants overboard when the boat began having engine trouble.’
      • ‘An emergency planning manager with the ambulance service was told the plane had engine trouble before the crash.’
      • ‘Midway through the race, while the boat was stopped with engine trouble, he started slurring his speech and blacked out.’
      • ‘When he saw Monica's car, he'd flag it down, plead engine trouble and ask if Corbett could drive him.’
      • ‘Apparently, his motorcycle had engine trouble and he needed to use the phone.’
      • ‘The pilot contacted Rome airport officials at 3.24 pm local time reporting engine trouble.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, despite getting pole position, he was forced out of the race early on with engine trouble.’
      • ‘Residents of the village heard the plane approach from the direction of the lake and it appeared to have engine trouble.’
      • ‘When we catch smugglers at sea, they will pretend to have engine trouble.’
      • ‘We regally glide by a group of all-terrain-vehicle riders, one of whom is having engine trouble.’
      • ‘An enemy combatant posing as a taxi driver claimed to have engine trouble.’
      • ‘He, like many people of his age, suffered from circulatory troubles.’
      disease, illness, sickness, ailment, complaint, problem
      malfunction, dysfunction, failure, breakdown, fault
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Effort or exertion made to do something, especially when inconvenient.
      ‘I wouldn't want to put you to any trouble’
      • ‘he's gone to a lot of trouble to help you’
      • ‘Carson had gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that things would be near perfect.’
      • ‘Their most recent research found people felt recycling was inconvenient and too much trouble.’
      • ‘I refused to put him to any trouble on my account.’
      • ‘We had gone to the trouble of establishing food, water, fuel, medical kits and generators at three sites across the city.’
      • ‘They really do save you more trouble than you care to think about.’
      • ‘She told him she didn't want to put him to any trouble but he smiled: "It would be my pleasure."’
      • ‘Second, you should be sure that the defense you're going to invest all this time and effort in is worth the trouble.’
      • ‘We really didn't want to put him to any trouble, but the offer seemed too good to refuse.’
      • ‘Nothing is too much trouble for the staff, as they glide effortlessly, never fuss or faff.’
      • ‘I commend the speaker for the care and trouble that he took in preparing those scripted words.’
      • ‘We make the journey, we take the trouble, we think the effort worth it.’
      • ‘You've gone to a lot of trouble to check your results, so I suspect you've done your calculations right.’
      • ‘Attacking school segregation in court was the only effort that appeared to be worth the trouble.’
      • ‘We have gone to a lot of trouble to configure these machines and provide our users with as wide an array of software as we can afford.’
      • ‘It took a hang of a lot of trouble and effort to make any move by the Government to make that possible, but finally it did.’
      bother, inconvenience, fuss, effort, exertion, work, labour
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3A cause of worry or inconvenience.
      ‘the kid had been no trouble up to now’
      • ‘Sometimes those arrested are simple innocents who have taken too much drink and are no trouble or danger to anyone but themselves.’
      • ‘Householders neighbouring the site said there had been no trouble but they are concerned of the damage they may cause.’
      • ‘While his mother and sisters were away Albert was no trouble.’
      nuisance, bother, inconvenience, irritation, irritant, problem, trial, pest, cause of annoyance, source of difficulty, thorn in someone's flesh, thorn in someone's side
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4A particular aspect or quality of something regarded as unsatisfactory or as a source of difficulty.
      ‘that's the trouble with capitalism’
      • ‘The trouble with this approach is that Scott deprives the story of any political, social or even emotional context.’
      • ‘The trouble with adult stem cells, the disadvantage of them is two-fold really.’
      • ‘The trouble with tar oil preservatives, it is difficult to get them to penetrate.’
      • ‘The trouble with travelling in Europe is that hotel accommodation and restaurant food costs about twice as much as in Australia.’
      • ‘The trouble with volunteers is that you can't fire them.’
      • ‘The trouble with both these arguments is that they are bogus.’
      • ‘The trouble with this was that I didn't want to watch pornography.’
      • ‘The trouble with the government's childcare strategy, it seems to me, is that it has employed both too much imagination, and too little.’
      • ‘The trouble with this rage, though, was that the stronger I felt it, the more powerless I felt.’
      • ‘The trouble with cars is that, while the seats in modern vehicles are fitted with all kinds of adjustments, most of us don't know how to set them properly.’
      • ‘The trouble with travelling to foreign countries is that, quite apart from the appalling weather, you can never be sure if the tap water is safe to drink.’
      • ‘The trouble with these sites is they are not scientific, and you have to either agree or disagree with the questions when often you can do neither honestly.’
      • ‘The trouble with this analysis is that it is simplistic.’
      • ‘The trouble with politics these days is that it's all about image, and what a candidate looks like is far more important than what he or she actually says.’
      • ‘The trouble with skills training is that it is part of the socialisation process and can only be learnt through experience.’
      • ‘The trouble with waiting is that it's boring and frustrating.’
      • ‘The trouble with publishing is that with the accountants running things, everything is dominated by how much your last novel sold.’
      • ‘The trouble with the way most politicians discuss this issue is that they blame the opposing party.’
      • ‘The trouble with perfection is that it is so easily marred.’
      shortcoming, weakness, weak point, failing, fault, imperfection, defect, blemish
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5A situation in which one is liable to incur punishment or blame.
      ‘he's been in trouble with the police’
      • ‘What if collaborating below and/or laterally gets you in trouble with the hierarchy above you?’
      • ‘Because I was continually in trouble with the police, they were made to make a decision.’
      • ‘You might hurt the bully and get sued or in trouble with the police.’
      • ‘The convicted drink-driver admitted to the officers he had ‘been in trouble with the police for violence’.’
      • ‘She was constantly in trouble with police, and was at the centre of a storm of protest a number of years ago when it emerged she was being held in an adult prison.’
      • ‘If they lived in the Sixties they would be called free spirits, but they don't and inevitably end up in trouble with the authorities.’
      • ‘He had never been in trouble with the police before.’
      • ‘An ultra-safe campaign has paid off, even in the rural areas where the party found itself in trouble with fuel tax campaigners and angry farmers.’
      • ‘The proposed legislation drew criticism from the opposition Reform party for being too easy on youth who get in trouble with the law.’
      • ‘Two successful riders found themselves in trouble with the stewards and picked up suspensions for excessive use of the whip.’
      • ‘She has been in trouble with the police since she was 11, stealing, terrorising the neighbours, setting fire to things.’
      • ‘They also prevent any company that has been in trouble with online regulators within two years from providing online news.’
      • ‘A fridge disposal company already at the centre of a safety investigation is in trouble with environment chiefs again.’
      • ‘But he was a clean-cut boy who attended school and had never been in trouble with the law.’
      • ‘I remember getting in trouble with a policeman for scrumping.’
      • ‘They let me go in 24 hours because I had never been in trouble with the law before.’
      • ‘He got in trouble with feminist groups and his career was derailed.’
      • ‘But his autocratic style has landed him in trouble with shareholders.’
      • ‘You will get in trouble with the police and end up in prison.’
      • ‘Is a child's rights protected when he or she is in trouble with the law?’
    6. 1.6 informal, dated Used to refer to the condition of a pregnant unmarried woman.
      • ‘a young woman who has gotten herself into trouble’
      • ‘I knew, that in our society, I would be labelled a "bad girl" who got herself into trouble.’
      • ‘Families went to great lengths to avoid neighbors and friends finding out their daughter had ‘got herself into trouble’.’
      • ‘Oh dear, she's gone the next step and got herself into trouble.’
  • 2Public unrest or disorder.

    ‘the cops are preparing for trouble by bringing in tear gas’
    • ‘The smoking ban has caused little trouble in our local public houses.’
    • ‘Among the highlights were crowd trouble, arrests and the inevitable tabloid furore that accompanies such incidents.’
    • ‘Offenders could face fines of up to £500 and Rochdale council can ban alcohol in public places where trouble is rife.’
    • ‘He said the rank at the moment has to deal with too many taxis and has become a hot-spot for trouble because of crowds congregating there at night.’
    • ‘The unsavoury football history between the two countries at both club and international level makes crowd trouble extremely likely.’
    • ‘The test was designed to simulate what would happen if their offices became unusable in the event of a wide-scale power loss or crowd trouble.’
    • ‘He also reminded delegates about the crowd trouble in Lansdowne Road some years ago at a soccer international.’
    • ‘The FA had urged fans not to travel over fears crowd trouble could lead to England being banned from the tournament.’
    • ‘Nobody wanted mutterings about crowd trouble besmirching the memory.’
    • ‘Several town centre pubs were closed because of fears of crowd trouble while others put security staff on the doors.’
    • ‘While out and about, police constantly scan crowds for indications of trouble.’
    • ‘The police would no doubt argue that provocative goal celebrations could incite crowd trouble.’
    • ‘What will happen if somebody uses one if there's trouble in a crowd and innocent people get hurt?’
    • ‘Crowd trouble at Bulldogs' matches has also contributed to the fall in attendances, but nothing seems to be able to stop their winning run.’
    • ‘This led to his dismissal from the pitch by the fourth official for inciting possible crowd trouble.’
    • ‘Germany's victory will go some way to redeeming the first major outbreak of crowd trouble of the tournament.’
    • ‘In recent years the main story behind this fixture has been one of crowd trouble but this gets barely a sentence in the whole book.’
    • ‘The rest were drawn, or abandoned because of bad weather, crowd trouble, or assassination.’
    • ‘The event was marred by crowd trouble when a section of the 300 onlookers turned on a foreign film crew.’
    • ‘But the Belgium police in the city were well prepared for trouble.’
    disturbance, disorder, unrest, bother, fighting, scuffling, conflict, tumult, commotion, turbulence, uproar, ructions, fracas, rumpus, brouhaha, furore, breach of the peace
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1the TroublesAny of various periods of civil war or unrest in Ireland, especially in 1919–23 and (in Northern Ireland) between 1968 and 1998.




transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Cause distress or anxiety to.

    ‘he was not troubled by doubts’
    • ‘it did not trouble me that he had secrets’
    worry, bother, cause concern to, concern, disturb, upset, make anxious, make uncomfortable, make uneasy, agitate, distress, grieve, alarm, perturb, annoy, irritate, vex, irk, torment, plague, nag, niggle, gnaw at, prey on someone's mind, lie heavy on someone's mind, weigh heavy on someone's mind, oppress, weigh down, burden, afflict
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1trouble about/over/withno object Be distressed or anxious about.
      ‘she was too concerned with her own feelings to trouble about Clare's’
      • ‘there is nothing you need trouble about’
      be anxious, be distressed, be concerned, concern oneself, worry, upset oneself, fret, agonize
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Cause (someone) pain.
      • ‘my legs started to trouble me’
      be afflicted by, be afflicted with, be bedevilled by, be beset by, be beset with, be dogged by, be incapacitated with, be racked with, be cursed with
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Cause (someone) inconvenience (typically used as a polite way of asking someone to do something)
      ‘sorry to trouble you’
      • ‘could I trouble you for a receipt?’
      inconvenience, cause inconvenience to, bother, impose on, create difficulties for, disturb, put out, disoblige
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4no object, with infinitive Make the effort required to do something.
      • ‘oh, don't trouble to answer’
      bother, take the time, take the trouble, go to the trouble, make the effort, exert oneself, go out of one's way
      View synonyms





    a trouble shared is a trouble halved
    • Talking to someone else about one's problems helps to alleviate them.

      ‘The saying, ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’ is just as true when it comes to your physical health as it is in relation to your emotional health.’
      • ‘They say a trouble shared is a trouble halved, but when holiday anxiety strikes, I suffer in silence.’
      • ‘Build a social support network of friends and family - remember a trouble shared is a trouble halved.’
      • ‘On the basis that a trouble shared is a trouble halved, I will share some of my troubles with you.’
      • ‘They say a trouble shared is a trouble halved and it's true.’
      • ‘It's said that a trouble shared is a trouble halved, but what if that was actually true?’
      • ‘Well since they say that a trouble shared is a trouble halved, I figured that it would also hold true in this case.’
      • ‘There is the old saying: a trouble shared is a trouble halved, so forming or joining a support group may benefit them.’
      • ‘A self-help group runs on the principle that a trouble shared is a trouble halved.’
      • ‘Learn to talk about it: Sometimes a trouble shared is a trouble halved.’
    ask for trouble
    • Act in a way that is likely to incur problems or difficulties.

      • ‘hitching a lift is asking for trouble’
      • ‘If there's one thing I've learnt during the years I've been doing my current job, it's that I should never try to update the website and send a virus alert within an hour of going home - it's just asking for trouble.’
      • ‘Pointing the finger and shouting in someone's face, that's asking for trouble.’
      • ‘But war without end is not a policy; it's asking for trouble.’
      • ‘Second, having the government direct the flow of that large quantity of investment capital, however indirectly, is just asking for trouble.’
      • ‘Any time you handle cash, you're asking for trouble.’
      • ‘The main message of the movie is that you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else, and that putting blind faith in a committed relationship is just asking for trouble.’
      • ‘Well, that's just asking for trouble, isn't it?’
      • ‘I'm asking for trouble with those statements, aren't I?’
      • ‘Fireworks, we all agreed, were just asking for trouble.’
      • ‘Providing them with somewhere to meet, have fun and exercise is just asking for trouble… they are just going to drink and take drugs.’
    look for trouble
    • Behave in a way that is likely to provoke an argument or fight.

      • ‘youths take a cocktail of drink and drugs before going out to look for trouble’
      • ‘You were looking for a fight and you were looking for trouble.’
      • ‘Scarlet loves fighting and is always looking for trouble… some say that he dresses in red so that nobody will notice the blood stains on his clothes…’
      • ‘So foxes have an undeserved reputation for aggressive behaviour - they do not look for trouble, they do not pick a fight.’
      • ‘I don't know if they were drunk or just looking for trouble, but some were carrying beer and they started whistling at the girls.’
      • ‘He said: ‘She did not go out that evening looking for trouble.’’
      • ‘The victim was not looking for trouble and got drawn into a situation because he was trying to calm people down.’
      • ‘I've heard of traffic cops pulling kids over just because they were dressed like punks and ‘looked like they were looking for trouble.’’
      • ‘They are apparently looking for trouble and even to make eye contact with them is to invite confrontation of a violent kind.’
      • ‘Overall everyone was on good behaviour and if someone was looking for trouble, it was obvious that we had the manpower to deal with it.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, no one stops to ask what happens to Billy Elliot's schoolmates, who are still hanging around outside the chippy of a winter evening looking for trouble instead of jobs.’
    trouble and strife
    British rhyming slang
    • Wife.

      ‘The rhymers par excellence have been the Cockneys of London, who have developed an elaborate and colourful collection of slang terms based on rhyme, such as trouble and strife for ‘wife’ and mince pies for ‘eyes’.’
      • ‘Forget the trouble and strife (and I know what that's a cockneyism for!) forget the chores and the deadlines, forget that the nose is at the grindstone, that the shoulder is to the wheel, that the coalface is being confronted.’
      • ‘Thus the trouble and strife would walk down the apples and pears and along the frog and toad to use the public dog and bone.’


Middle English from Old French truble (noun), trubler (verb), based on Latin turbidus (see turbid).