Definition of bother in English:

bother

verb

  • 1no 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’
    • ‘I didn't bother with the included software, as the drivers were already loaded.’
    • ‘If you're not having a problem, then why bother seeking advice, right?’
    • ‘Why bother to vote?’
    • ‘Nobody was out, so why bother with trying to find a model?’
    • ‘He found it strange to bother with a lock when there was a hole in the window big enough for a man to climb through.’
    • ‘If you can't bother to train, don't bother to race!’
    • ‘Apparently, no one cared enough about this old house to even bother with locking the door.’
    • ‘They're a link back to the days when nobody bothered to lock their back doors and everyone grew vegetables.’
    • ‘You thought that some of the volunteers were too much trouble to bother with after you messed them about last year.’
    • ‘I think you shouldn't bother with photos or video.’
    • ‘We paid a brief visit to Highland Park, but didn't bother with the distillery tour (when you've seen one, you've seen them all).’
    • ‘Why would I bother to read it?’
    • ‘Running up the steps, I didn't bother with the keys, just pushed the door open.’
    • ‘Soon, nobody will bother with such outdated languages at all, especially after the Revolution comes.’
    • ‘Don't bother with the scenic railway, grumped the driver who picked us up from the Megalong Valley once we'd landed.’
    • ‘Why should you bother investigating alternate insurance coverage for your business?’
    • ‘Now that I've finished it, I think it'll be a long time before I bother playing it again.’
    • ‘Dont bother asking about the mystery ingredient.’
    • ‘My companion seemed not to bother with any of the trappings of image which worry other girls of her age and for that her cool image was boosted.’
    • ‘In fact, by the next election this should all be so automated that I won't even have to bother to show up.’
  • 2with 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’
    • ‘Steve Waugh, the Australian captain, commented that the margin of victory did not bother him.’
    • ‘The people who should be providing us with these services are not sensitive enough to the real issues and that bothers me.’
    • ‘If violence and death bother you, quit reading now please.’
    • ‘In fact, it's not even the event which has bothered me the most in recent history.’
    • ‘Although Kenneth's absence did bother him, the circumstances of his father's death were his main concern.’
    • ‘He permitted himself to think that it was the abruptness of events that bothered him.’
    • ‘The accident bothered me most because I felt like I had let the team down and I tore up a really fast car.’
    • ‘But the Gateshead Harrier, who finished sixth when he last competed at the championships in 1993, said the early start will not bother him.’
    • ‘This comment, though it might've been different under other circumstances, did not bother me at all.’
    • ‘There is so much that could be said about this article, but there is a specific issue that really bothered me.’
    • ‘At least her little sister had decided not to let Darla's outburst bother her.’
    • ‘They know what finals football is all about so the occasion won't bother us.’
    • ‘In play therapy it was possible to get clues on the issues bothering the child.’
    • ‘It is obvious this issue is still bothering you and until you really let him know how you feel he will always manage to walk all over you.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The publisher has attended past award gala events, but only this year's event seemed to bother him, even though there was no change in the format or time devoted to the recipients.’
    • ‘Those few occasions didn't bother her, although she didn't get anything out of them.’
    • ‘Wherever I go it's always an event, which actually bothers me because it means I cannot fail that trust, which is in fact a burden.’
    • ‘What is bothering me is that issue of lack of moral equivalence.’
    • ‘I don't feel the pressure and the worries don't really bother me too much.’
    concern oneself, trouble oneself, mind, care, worry oneself, burden oneself, occupy oneself, busy oneself
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1no 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’
      ‘I'm not particularly bothered about how I look’
      • ‘By the time we get back to the good guys, and the main plot, we've been faced with a whole load of characters that we're not really bothered about.’
      • ‘In St Andrews, the tourists don't seem bothered about the weather.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Don't bother about the trophies because they are just a distraction.’
      • ‘Its owner doesn't seem too bothered about its disappearance, although she is ultimately responsible for its retrieval.’
      • ‘I no longer feel my foot at all, but I'm not too bothered about that.’
      • ‘People who draw power illegally from street mains and other sources are the least bothered about public safety.’
      • ‘And worst of all, they don't seem particularly bothered about helping customers find the music they want.’
      • ‘I know I should be a bit distressed by all those arts going up in flames, but somehow I can't get that bothered about it.’
      • ‘Let somebody else bother about developing young players.’
      • ‘But many children in the city seem not much bothered about this year's school re-opening.’
      • ‘However, are any councillors bothered about how things are currently going?’
      • ‘Some of the older members of the public did not seem too bothered about it.’
      • ‘He is an ordinary bloke who is not too bothered about his clothes.’
      • ‘The sooner we don't even bother about them, the better.’
      • ‘Carl and my sister Michelle never seemed too bothered about travelling.’
      • ‘Don't bother about being modern.’
      • ‘With hindsight, they didn't seem bothered about the suggestion of a relationship, though the timing was awkward.’
      • ‘Teachers talk of the growing proportion of pupils who don't want to be taught, and whose parents are not greatly bothered about it.’
      • ‘I am not too bothered about the work taking a while to complete.’
    2. 2.2 Cause trouble or annoyance to (someone) by interrupting or otherwise inconveniencing them.
      ‘I'm sorry to bother you at this time of night’
      • ‘I can remember saying to the operator ‘I'm very sorry to bother you but I think my house is on fire’.’
      • ‘I'm sorry to bother you but there's something I need to ask you.’
      • ‘I don't want to bother my parents, they have enough trouble with my sick brother.’
      • ‘She kept redialing and the interruptions didn't seem to bother her.’
      • ‘His parents, knowing where they could find him and that he was staying out of trouble, didn't bother him.’
      • ‘Sorry to bother you again, but I've just finished Good Omens, a book I've been meaning to read for about eight years.’
      • ‘And Grace never wanted to bother anybody, never wanted to inconvenience people.’
      • ‘The inconvenience did not bother me nearly as much as the attitude with which I was treated.’
      • ‘Sorry to bother you with such a rudimentary question.’
      • ‘I'm terribly sorry for bothering you all and for giving you such a fright.’
      • ‘I'm sorry to bother you so late, but I am wondering if I can talk to you, privately?’
      • ‘You just need to be a little more relaxed yourself as you go through and not let the additional inconvenience bother you.’
      • ‘I'm sorry to bother you but I wondered if I could speak to you for a moment.’
      • ‘I'm really sorry to bother you with this, Katrina.’
      • ‘That would save me the trouble of needing to bother anyone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a rather rough-looking chap who said, ‘Sorry to bother you but we're in the area and we're selling fresh fish’.’
      • ‘She saw Nathan with his eyes shut in deep concentration and knew something was troubling him, but chose not to bother him just yet.’
      • ‘Sorry if I'm bothering you or anything, but after seeing you the other day I've wanted to talk to you.’
      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
      View synonyms

noun

mass noun
  • 1Effort, trouble, 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’
    • ‘A woman who turned 104 last Thursday had just one wish for her birthday - she didn't want any fuss or bother.’
    • ‘Apart from that, the economy can deliver, without much bother, fuss or promotion.’
    • ‘Throughout all the fuss and bother, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has been quietly going about its work of photographing the entire planet.’
    • ‘Everybody was given certainty about that, and there was no fuss or bother, so why did the Government not do the same with regard to the seabed issue?’
    • ‘It could have saved itself all this bother, of course, if it had kept the name in the first place.’
    • ‘They left to find another bus stop because they ‘didn't want any bother or trouble.’’
    • ‘In doing that we not only save ourselves a lot of bother but we also gain space in the room and it won't feel anywhere near as crowded as it was going to.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later, based on this incident and a few others we'd witnessed, my friend and I concluded that avoiding crying saved a lot of bother.’
    • ‘A third goal at that stage would have saved Rangers a lot of bother.’
    • ‘If you agree with her point of view, it's no bother; if not, it can be difficult.’
    • ‘Every year since they have been here they have been in bother but they have stayed out of trouble so far this season.’
    • ‘A year earlier the players had presented a programme of works by Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart without any fuss or bother.’
    • ‘He said a special gate had been reserved for these fans to enter the stadium without any undue fuss or bother.’
    • ‘He interviews himself, which does save a lot of bother.’
    • ‘We'd save an awful lot of bother if we just took it.’
    • ‘I should give some credit to the former Mayor of Auckland, John Banks, who made such a fuss and bother.’
    • ‘The fuss and bother came after his death in 1994, at the age of 62.’
    • ‘Point-and-shoot cameras are ideal for this kind of photography, because they let you react quickly with little fuss or bother.’
    • ‘I couldn't believe he hadn't done that and saved all this bother.’
    trouble, effort, exertion, strain, inconvenience, fuss, bustle, hustle and bustle, disruption
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1a bother A person or thing that causes annoyance or difficulty.
      ‘I hope she hasn't been a bother’
      • ‘Isn’t that uniform a bother to you, with people always coming up to you?” my brother asked.’
      • ‘The black marks were a bother.’
      • ‘She did it without complaining because she didn't want to be a bother.’
      • ‘So our old natures rebel and we let them know in subtle little ways that they are a bother.’
      • ‘The truth is, I'd hate to be a bother to her or my son.’
      nuisance, pest, palaver, rigmarole, job, trial, tribulation, bind, bore, drag, inconvenience, difficulty, trouble, problem, irritation, annoyance, vexation
      View synonyms

exclamation

British
  • Used to express mild irritation or impatience.

    ‘‘Bother!’ she muttered’
    • ‘She is wearing jeans and a Winnie the Pooh T-shirt with the slogan: ‘Oh bother!’’
    damn, damnation, blast, hell, heck, gordon bennett
    View synonyms

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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have split ends but can't be bothered to go get my hair cut.’
      • ‘If you can't be bothered to become informed about the issues then you don't need to vote.’
      • ‘But, I really can't be bothered to put in the effort to finish it.’
      • ‘But if they can't be bothered to find me, why should I make the effort for them?’
      • ‘If you can't be bothered to imagine, let me tell you.’
      • ‘When you can't be bothered to write but you've got loads of stuff spilling out of your head, you can still share it all with this cool tool.’
      • ‘However, I still find myself reaching for it if I have five minutes to kill or can't be bothered to load up anything else.’
      • ‘Throughout my conversation, she gave such dull and unwilling answers, as if she can't be bothered to talk to me.’
      • ‘People moan about politics and the state of their world when they are down the pub, but then can't be bothered to use their vote on election day.’
  • 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’
      • ‘Having done this, consider the question: should we get as hot and bothered as we have by the phenomenon of politicians hurling insults and taking cheap shots at each other?’
      • ‘The waterfall scene (sari size: postage stamp, wetness: drenched) still gets certain of my relatives hot and bothered even today, and I have to confess that I am not immune.’
      • ‘I was decidedly hot and bothered for all the wrong reasons by the time I reached The Wolesey to meet Liz, which possibly added to my feelings of not-fitting-in-ness as I sat in the magnificent surroundings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I ran for 18 minutes and did 100 sit-ups, but was so hot and bothered - and frustrated - that I called it a day and retreated to a cool, refreshing shower.’
      • ‘Stanley Kubrick chose to play Nabokov's explosive novel as a black comedy of manners, with James Mason getting all hot and bothered over Sue Lyon's nymphet while Peter Sellers snickers from the shadows.’
      • ‘His temper in the office could be fiery and he might seem a bit hot and bothered but deep down he was a softy.’
      • ‘For some reason the wire service reporters got all hot and bothered today about the whopping 0.2 percentage point upward revision in second quarter GDP.’
      • ‘He was cursing and yelling, but Jess was too hot and bothered to worry about it.’

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.

Pronunciation

bother

/ˈbɒðə/