Definition of troubled in US English:

troubled

adjective

  • 1Beset by problems or conflict.

    ‘his troubled private life’
    • ‘Problems on the troubled estate have increased following the loss of the area's two community police officers.’
    • ‘This is music that directly addresses many of the problems of a troubled planet.’
    • ‘It is far from the image of a troubled, inner-city school beset by social problems.’
    • ‘On arriving in the troubled area, dark clouds and intense humidity increased the sense of tension in the area.’
    • ‘He cast himself as the hero, at 22 years old trying to put his troubled past behind him and go straight, but beset with biblical problems and temptations at every step.’
    • ‘Until that day, if it ever came, she would make her home a haven of light and peace in these dark, troubled times.’
    • ‘Patrick and his wife raised 11 children during difficult times and a troubled period in our history.’
    • ‘Why a wave of delayed hurricanes is just the latest in a string of problems for our troubled space agency.’
    • ‘He had a troubled background including family difficulties from an early age and had started to take heroin at an early age.’
    • ‘Caroline does not reciprocate his feelings, tolerating Noah at best, too concerned with her own family problems to befriend a troubled white boy.’
    • ‘Still, only some of their difficulties could be attributed to their troubled relationships with their mothers.’
    • ‘The birds did not make a sound as Callan rose from her bed and went outside to find fresh water; it was a bad omen, but then not unusual in those dark and troubled times.’
    • ‘His marriages are often mentioned and described as troubled, difficult, but no great detail about them is given.’
    • ‘With these voluptuous gifts have come difficult, troubled lives.’
    • ‘I would like to pay tribute to the staff who worked so hard to support this troubled young woman.’
    • ‘In these dark and troubled times, we need all the help we can get.’
    • ‘The troubled undergraduate's primary difficulty lay in conceiving how anything could float.’
    • ‘In many ways, he was the right person to take the troubled city through a difficult time caused by a major economic downturn.’
    • ‘In a journal entry about the coming exhibition, he aptly describes how his art has helped soothe a troubled and unsettled past.’
    • ‘The problems facing the troubled suburbs are due in part to the growing fragmentation of our metropolitan areas.’
    difficult, problematic, full of problems, beset by problems, unsettled, hard, tough, stressful, dark
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    1. 1.1 Showing distress or anxiety.
      ‘his troubled face’
      • ‘Her eyes wandered to his troubled face.’
      • ‘The last and only known portrait of the actor captures him as an intense, brooding young man, a distant, troubled look in his eyes.’
      • ‘The following night, the man felt another tap on his shoulder, and sees the same troubled face staring back.’
      • ‘I sat stunned, but as I looked at her troubled face, the signs of fear and extreme anxiety began to show from behind her mask.’
      • ‘Hannah exchanged a troubled glance with Sister Evangeline.’
      • ‘The next morning when he came downstairs, his wife asked what he had learned; he looked around with a nervous and troubled glance, and after locking the door, assured her that the rumor was true.’
      anxious, worried, concerned, perturbed, disturbed, bothered, ill at ease, uneasy, unsettled
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • troubled waters

    • A difficult situation or time.

      • ‘Kelly currently works for the Department of Commerce as an attorney, but before that, she helped the company navigate some troubled waters on issues of user data storage.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for the duo their smooth sailing double act is heading towards some troubled waters.’
      • ‘Armed with my new abilities, I have calmed the troubled waters of computing.’
      • ‘Your loving partner supports you through troubled waters.’
      • ‘This was also the year when the relationship between New Zealand and the United States formally hit troubled waters.’
      • ‘You are stronger after swimming through troubled waters.’
      • ‘You gain strength and uphold values and priorities by swimming bravely through troubled waters.’
      • ‘He considers himself feeble, unable to keep afloat on the troubled waters of his times.’
      • ‘And there are reports that it is indeed sailing in troubled waters.’
      • ‘It took a lot of hard work for him to smooth those troubled waters.’

Pronunciation

troubled

/ˈtrəbəld//ˈtrəbəld/