Definition of nuisance in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈn(y)o͞osəns/


1A person, thing, or circumstance causing inconvenience or annoyance: an unreasonable landlord could become a nuisance I hope you’re not going to make a nuisance of yourself
More example sentences
  • If the newcomers wanted to make a go of it here and did not make a nuisance of themselves, they could be Australians.
  • They don't want to go along to annual general meetings and make a nuisance of themselves.
  • In return, they don't secede or otherwise make a nuisance of themselves.
annoyance, inconvenience, bore, bother, irritation, problem, trouble, trial, burden;
pest, plague, thorn in one's side/flesh
informal pain, pain in the neck, hassle, bind, drag, chore, aggravation, headache, nudnik
1.1 (also private nuisance) Law An unlawful interference with the use and enjoyment of a person’s land.
Example sentences
  • The tort of nuisance is concerned with unlawful interference with the use or enjoyment of land.
  • A second exception to the rule is where there is a continuing injury, such as a continuing nuisance or trespass to land.
  • But he does not have a cause of action in nuisance for his personal injury, nor for interference with his personal enjoyment.
1.2 Law see public nuisance.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'injury, hurt'): from Old French, 'hurt', from the verb nuire, from Latin nocere 'to harm'.

  • innocent from Middle English:

    Literally meaning ‘not harming’, innocent goes back to Latin in- ‘not’ and nocere ‘to hurt, injure’, which also lies behind nuisance (Late Middle English), noxious (Late Middle English) ‘harmful’, its opposite innocuous (late 16th century), and obnoxious (late 16th century).

Words that rhyme with nuisance


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nui·sance

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.