Definition of troubled in US English:

troubled

adjective

  • 1Beset by problems or conflict.

    ‘his troubled private life’
    • ‘It is far from the image of a troubled, inner-city school beset by social problems.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The troubled undergraduate's primary difficulty lay in conceiving how anything could float.’
    • ‘In a journal entry about the coming exhibition, he aptly describes how his art has helped soothe a troubled and unsettled past.’
    • ‘In these dark and troubled times, we need all the help we can get.’
    • ‘Still, only some of their difficulties could be attributed to their troubled relationships with their mothers.’
    • ‘Problems on the troubled estate have increased following the loss of the area's two community police officers.’
    • ‘He had a troubled background including family difficulties from an early age and had started to take heroin at an early age.’
    • ‘With these voluptuous gifts have come difficult, troubled lives.’
    • ‘The problems facing the troubled suburbs are due in part to the growing fragmentation of our metropolitan areas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His marriages are often mentioned and described as troubled, difficult, but no great detail about them is given.’
    • ‘I would like to pay tribute to the staff who worked so hard to support this troubled young woman.’
    • ‘In many ways, he was the right person to take the troubled city through a difficult time caused by a major economic downturn.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Caroline does not reciprocate his feelings, tolerating Noah at best, too concerned with her own family problems to befriend a troubled white boy.’
    • ‘This is music that directly addresses many of the problems of a troubled planet.’
    • ‘Why a wave of delayed hurricanes is just the latest in a string of problems for our troubled space agency.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her eyes wandered to his troubled face.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The following night, the man felt another tap on his shoulder, and sees the same troubled face staring back.’
      • ‘Hannah exchanged a troubled glance with Sister Evangeline.’
      • ‘The last and only known portrait of the actor captures him as an intense, brooding young man, a distant, troubled look in his eyes.’
      anxious, worried, concerned, perturbed, disturbed, bothered, ill at ease, uneasy, unsettled
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • troubled waters

    • A difficult situation or time.

      • ‘Your loving partner supports you through troubled waters.’
      • ‘You gain strength and uphold values and priorities by swimming bravely through troubled waters.’
      • ‘It took a lot of hard work for him to smooth those troubled waters.’
      • ‘And there are reports that it is indeed sailing in troubled waters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Armed with my new abilities, I have calmed the troubled waters of computing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He considers himself feeble, unable to keep afloat on the troubled waters of his times.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for the duo their smooth sailing double act is heading towards some troubled waters.’

Pronunciation

troubled

/ˈtrəbəld//ˈtrəbəld/