Definition of bother in English:


Syllabification: both·er
Pronunciation: /ˈbäT͟Hər


  • 1 [with negative] Take the trouble to do something: nobody bothered locking the doors scientists rarely bother with such niceties [with infinitive]: the driver didn’t bother to ask why
    More example sentences
    • Apparently, no one cared enough about this old house to even bother with locking the door.
    • You thought that some of the volunteers were too much trouble to bother with after you messed them about last year.
    • Soon, nobody will bother with such outdated languages at all, especially after the Revolution comes.
  • 2(Of a circumstance or event) worry, disturb, or upset (someone): secrecy is an issue that bothers journalists [with object and clause]: it bothered me that I hadn’t done anything
    More example sentences
    • But the Gateshead Harrier, who finished sixth when he last competed at the championships in 1993, said the early start will not bother him.
    • Steve Waugh, the Australian captain, commented that the margin of victory did not bother him.
    • Part of the suspicion is of course because it's something that's a new way of doing things, and change always bothers some people.
    mind, care, concern oneself, trouble oneself, worry oneself
    informal give a damn, give a hoot
    worry, trouble, concern, perturb, disturb, disquiet, disconcert, unnerve; fret, upset, distress, agitate, gnaw at, weigh down
    informal rattle
  • 2.1Trouble or annoy (someone) by interrupting or causing inconvenience: she didn’t feel she could bother Mike with the problem
    More example sentences
    • The motorist felt that my time would be better spent booking the speeding students who were attending the college and not bothering him and inconveniencing him in his motor repairs.
    • They managed this with no fuss and without interrupting or bothering us in any way.
    • The inconvenience did not bother me nearly as much as the attitude with which I was treated.
    disturb, trouble, inconvenience, pester, badger, harass, molest, plague, nag, hound, harry, annoy, upset, irritate, hassle, bug, get in someone's hair, get on someone's case, get under a someone's skin, ruffle someone's feathers, rag on, ride
  • 2.2 [no object, usually with negative] Feel concern about or interest in: don’t bother about me—I’ll find my own way home he wasn’t to bother himself with day-to-day things (as adjective bothered) I’m not particularly bothered about how I look
    More example sentences
    • Carl and my sister Michelle never seemed too bothered about travelling.
    • But many children in the city seem not much bothered about this year's school re-opening.
    • I'm less bothered about my bus shelter now, though I would obviously prefer there to be a stop there so it would be more convenient to get a bus.


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  • 1Effort, worry, or difficulty: he saved me the bother of having to come up with a speech it may seem like too much bother to cook just for yourself
    More example sentences
    • They left to find another bus stop because they ‘didn't want any bother or trouble.’
    • Getting rid of all the fuss and bother or hassle of looking after your contact lenses, it becomes part of the body and it's not an invasive procedure.
    • He interviews himself, which does save a lot of bother.
    trouble, effort, exertion, inconvenience, fuss, pains
  • 1.1 (a bother) A person or thing that causes worry or difficulty: I hope she hasn’t been a bother
    More example sentences
    • Isn’t that uniform a bother to you, with people always coming up to you?” my brother asked.
    • So our old natures rebel and we let them know in subtle little ways that they are a bother.
    • The black marks were a bother.
  • 1.2 [with negative] A nuisance or inconvenience: it’s no bother, it’s on my way home
    More example sentences
    • Some family gets a huge boost in their household economy and your friend gets a goat with none of the bother of the actual goat!
    • ‘Oh, no, no, it is not a bother,’ he quickly assured, vigorously shaking his head.
    • Some light hiss does remain - tape hiss will never completely disappear from many analog recordings - but it is never a bother.


can't be bothered (to do something)

Be unwilling to make the effort to do something: they couldn’t be bothered to look it up
More example sentences
  • Although they have everything going for them they can't be bothered to put in the necessary effort to help themselves to fulfil their potential.
  • If you can't be bothered to imagine, let me tell you.
  • I have split ends but can't be bothered to go get my hair cut.

hot and bothered

In a state of anxiety or physical discomfort.
More example sentences
  • He was cursing and yelling, but Jess was too hot and bothered to worry about it.
  • As for spider cannibalism, this happens frequently, and usually under different circumstances: Males hot and bothered by comely females will venture forth for the chance to mate.
  • If you're a squeamish sort, who doesn't get all hot and bothered by blood, guts and gore the way I do, then I strongly suggest you don't click on the link I'm about to show you.


late 17th century (as a noun in the dialect sense 'noise, chatter'): of Anglo-Irish origin; probably related to Irish bodhaire 'noise', bodhraim 'deafen, annoy'. The verb (originally dialect) meant 'confuse with noise' in the early 18th century.

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody