Definition of bother in English:

bother

Line breaks: bother
Pronunciation: /ˈbɒðə
 
/

verb

  • 1 [no object, with negative] Take the trouble to do something: 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    • Soon, nobody will bother with such outdated languages at all, especially after the Revolution comes.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 [with object] (Of a circumstance or event) worry, disturb, or upset (someone): secrecy is an issue which 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.
    Synonyms
    concern oneself, trouble oneself, mind, care, worry oneself, burden oneself, occupy oneself, busy oneself; take the time, make the effort, go to trouble, inconvenience oneself
    informal give a damn, give a hoot, give a rap, give a hang
    worry, trouble, concern, perturb, disturb, disquiet, disconcert, unnerve, fret, upset, distress, alarm, make anxious, cause someone anxiety, work up, agitate, gnaw at, weigh down, lie heavy on
    informal rattle, faze, discombobulate
  • 2.1 [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.
  • 2.2Cause trouble or annoyance to (someone) by interrupting or otherwise inconveniencing them: I’m sorry to bother you at this time of night
    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.
    Synonyms
    disturb, trouble, worry, inconvenience, put out, impose on, pester, badger, harass, molest, plague, beset, torment, nag, hound, dog, chivvy, harry, annoy, upset, irritate, vex, provoke, nettle, try someone's patience, make one's hackles rise
    informal hassle, bug, give someone a hard time, get in someone's hair, get on someone's case, get up someone's nose, rub up the wrong way, drive up the wall
    Northern English informal mither
    North American informal ride, devil
    Australian/New Zealand informal heavy
    rare discommode

noun

[mass noun] Back to top  

exclamation

British Back to top  
  • Used to express mild irritation or impatience: ‘Bother!’ she muttered
    More example sentences
    • She is wearing jeans and a Winnie the Pooh T-shirt with the slogan: ‘Oh bother!’

Phrases

can't be bothered (to do something)

Be unwilling to make the effort needed 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, especially as a result of being pressured: others struggle with bags and briefcases, looking hot and bothered
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.

Origin

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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