1. A state of distress, affliction, difficulty, or need: tried to console them in their trouble; got in trouble with the police.
2. A distressing or difficult circumstance or situation: I've had troubles ever since I took this job.
3. A cause or source of distress, disturbance, or difficulty: The new recruits were a trouble to him.
4. Effort, especially when inconvenient or bothersome: went to a lot of trouble to find this book.
5. A condition of pain, disease, or malfunction: heart trouble; car trouble.
a. Public unrest or disorder.
b. An instance of this; a disturbance.
c. Troubles Any of various conflicts or rebellions in Ireland or Northern Ireland, especially the period of social unrest in Northern Ireland beginning in 1969.
v. trou·bled, trou·bling, trou·bles
1. To afflict with pain or discomfort: My stomach is troubling me.
a. To cause to be anxious or worried: was troubled by the decline in sales.
b. To cause to have emotional or mental problems that interfere with social functioning: a teenager who is troubled and needs help.
3. To inconvenience; bother: May I trouble you for directions?
4. To agitate; stir up: winds troubling the waters.
To take pains: They trouble over every detail.
[Middle English, from Old French, from troubler, to trouble, from Vulgar Latin *turbulāre, alteration (influenced by Latin turbula, small group, diminutive of turba, crowd) of Late Latin turbidāre, from Latin turbidus, confused; see TURBID.]
Synonyms: trouble, ail, distress, worry
These verbs mean to cause anxious uneasiness in: His behavior troubles his parents. What problems are ailing you? The bad news distressed us. Her high fever worries the doctor.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.