Definition of nuisance in English:



  • 1A person or thing causing inconvenience or annoyance:

    ‘it's a nuisance having all those people clomping through the house’
    ‘I hope you're not going to make a nuisance of yourself’
    • ‘The mechanically-propelled ones with an engine make a noise, are a nuisance and are dangerous.’
    • ‘However, normally these dumped items will be removed during the programmed cleaning schedule or earlier if they are creating a hazard or a nuisance.’
    • ‘The nuisance and bother that raises its head time and time again in Portlaoise did so again over the weekend.’
    • ‘If the newcomers wanted to make a go of it here and did not make a nuisance of themselves, they could be Australians.’
    • ‘As a result, ministers are going to great lengths to point out that the deer is a fine animal, and must not be viewed as a pest or a nuisance.’
    • ‘The White House listens to these outraged voices but considers them more a nuisance than genuine problem.’
    • ‘But those for whom enjoyment develops into aggression need to be weeded out before they can start to make a nuisance of themselves.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dogs are barred from many public places because they pose a serious hazard to health and can be a nuisance and danger.’
    • ‘To some of us the rain is merely a nuisance or an inconvenience.’
    • ‘There are also some plants brought in because they had a perceived potential use as garden ornamentals, but which have turned out to be pests or nuisances.’
    • ‘In so doing they are creating a nuisance for residents, danger for themselves and a hazard for road users.’
    • ‘Bonfires are a general nuisance and serious problem for anyone with a respiratory condition such as asthma or emphysema.’
    • ‘We are trying our best to stop this problem but it is a nuisance and an inconvenience.’
    • ‘I live in Beckenham in an area populated by many foxes and, yes, they do sometimes make a nuisance of themselves.’
    • ‘It is no good merely viewing the young as a nuisance and a difficulty, especially when most of them are no such thing at all.’
    • ‘Many felt it would be a nuisance and potentially dangerous.’
    source of annoyance, source of irritation, annoyance, inconvenience, bore, bother, irritant, problem, difficulty, trouble, trial, burden
    pest, plague, thorn in one's flesh, thorn in one's side
    pain, pain in the neck, pain in the backside, headache, hassle, bind, drag, aggravation, menace
    nyaff, skelf
    pain in the butt, nudnik, burr in someone's saddle, burr under someone's saddle
    fair cow
    pain in the arse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law An act which is harmful or offensive to the public or a member of it and for which there is a legal remedy.
      • ‘Parents whose children cause a public nuisance are likely to receive a warning letter from the police.’
      • ‘The courts tend to approach the question of the existence of a nuisance, whether public or private, as a question of fact.’
      • ‘Picketing accompanied by violence, or even merely noise, may be a private nuisance.’
      • ‘What constitutes a statutory nuisance is carefully defined in section 79 and so too are numerous exceptions.’
      • ‘They range from minor noise nuisance, through to serious racial harassment and threats to kill.’


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