1 : to annoy especially by petty provocation : irk It bothers her when people litter. bothered by the itchy tag on his shirt

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3 : to cause to be somewhat anxious or concerned My stomach is bothering me. —often used interjectionally Oh, bother!
1a : a state of petty discomfort, annoyance, or worry when scenery gets mixed up with our personal bothers all the virtue goes out of it— Edith Wharton
b : something that causes petty annoyance or worry Fixing it would be too much of a bother. Sorry to be such a bother, but I need your help.

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Synonyms for bother

Synonyms: Verb


Synonyms: Noun

clutter , corroboree , do , hoo-ha hurry-scurry kerfuffle , splore , Visit the Thesaurus for More

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annoy, vex, irk, bother mean to upset a person"s composure. annoy implies a wearing on the nerves by persistent petty unpleasantness. their constant complaining annoys us vex implies greater provocation and stronger disturbance and usually connotes anger but sometimes perplexity or anxiety. vexed by her son"s failure to clean his room irk stresses difficulty in enduring and the resulting weariness or impatience of spirit. careless waste irks the boss bother suggests interference with comfort or peace of mind. don"t bother me while I"m reading

Verb He"s so easygoing. Nothing seems to bother him. Something he said at the meeting has been bothering me. The entire car trip was filled with complaints like, “Mom, David keeps bothering me!” and “Will you tell him to quit bothering me?”. Mother used to cook elaborate dinners, but with only herself to cook for, she doesn"t bother anymore. “Should I call later?” “No, don"t bother.” I"m not going to bother with the details. Noun Replacing the windows could be more of a bother than it"s worth. I know what a bother driving into the city can be this time of day. “Sorry to bother you.” “That"s okay, it"s no bother at all.” I considered replacing that part of the floor but decided it wasn"t worth the bother. He doesn"t want the bother of filling out all those forms again. Will you mail this for me? It will save me the bother of going to the post office.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Powell’s right hip sprain continues to bother him, although Billups said Saturday that the small forward had been progressing. — oregonlive, 11 Oct. 2021 But that began to bother Mr. Hein, who wondered whether he and his mother were preyed upon because of their race. — New York Times, 21 Sep. 2021 For his part, the home crowd boos didn"t seem to bother him. — Matt Young, Chron, 20 Sep. 2021 Remarks that used to bother her stirred no reaction. — Arkansas Online, 4 Sep. 2021 Nothing seemed to bother her in Tokyo — not the quarantine rules, the early wake-up times (4 a.m. for the first round) or a drenching rainstorm that hit during the semifinals. — Eddie Pells, ajc, 4 Aug. 2021 First, Morgan tracks back all the way to the Rapids keeper to bother him. — Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 July 2021 The lack of cheering did not seem to bother Takato. — Gary Klein Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2021 Any offended sensibilities or alternate interpretations don’t bother him. — Matthew Schneier, Curbed, 14 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even a simple question about The Many Saints of Newark is damning: Would a non-Sopranos viewer bother watching it? — David Sims, The Atlantic, 28 Sep. 2021 His first restaurant, Valette, opened with his bother Aaron Garzini six years ago, has become one of those places that takes reservations several weeks in advance. — Beck Bamberger, Forbes, 19 Sep. 2021 From the first tournament in 1974, the antepenultimate hole on the course designed and built by Nicklaus wasn"t much of a bother. — Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, 5 June 2021 If — one is — going to have a fight with somebody else — why bother and — have a meeting? — NBC News, 14 June 2021 Montes’ stint with the Yard Goats brought Diaz and her bother for the first time in 50 years back to Hartford -- the city that had been their safe haven. — Dom Amore, courant.com, 8 Aug. 2021 Other South Carolina beaches expected similar conditions, coming mostly overnight to be less of a bother to visitors during an extremely busy summer. — Fox News, 8 July 2021 Other South Carolina beaches expected similar conditions, coming mostly overnight to be less of a bother to visitors during an extremely busy summer. — sun-sentinel.com, 8 July 2021 Other South Carolina beaches expected similar conditions, coming mostly overnight to be less of a bother to visitors during an extremely busy summer. — Curt Anderson, Anchorage Daily News, 8 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word "bother." Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of bsci-ch.org or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bother


circa 1745, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1761, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for bother


of obscure origin

Note: Early attestations strongly associate the word with Ireland, though if bother is authentically Hiberno-English, the interdental consonant must be secondary, perhaps by association with earlier pother entry 1, itself of obscure origin. A hypothetical link with Irish bodhar "deaf, confused" is improbable given that the internal dental consonant in Irish was lost by 1300.