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Verb is from Middle English troublen, trublen, turblen, troblen, borrowed from Old French troubler, trobler, trubler, metathetic variants of tourbler, torbler, turbler, from Vulgar Latin *turbulāre, from Latin turbula (disorderly group, a little crowd or people), diminutive of turba (stir; crowd). The noun is from Middle English truble, troble, from Old French troble, from the verb.



trouble (countable and uncountable, plural troubles)

  1. A distressing or dangerous situation.
    He was in trouble when the rain started.
  2. A difficulty, problem, condition, or action contributing to such a situation.
    • John Milton
      Lest the fiend [] some new trouble raise.
    • William Shakespeare
      Foul whisperings are abroad; unnatural deeds / Do breed unnatural troubles.
    The trouble was a leaking brake line.   The trouble with that suggestion is that we lack the funds to put it in motion.   The bridge column magnified the trouble with a slight tilt in the wrong direction.
  3. A violent occurrence or event.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      “I don't know how you and the ‘head,’ as you call him, will get on, but I do know that if you call my duds a ‘livery’ again there'll be trouble. It's bad enough to go around togged out like a life saver on a drill day, but I can stand that 'cause I'm paid for it. What I won't stand is to have them togs called a livery. […]”
    the troubles in Northern Ireland
  4. Efforts taken or expended, typically beyond the normal required.
    It's no trouble for me to edit it.
  5. A malfunction.
    He's been in hospital with some heart trouble.   My old car has engine trouble.
  6. Liability to punishment; conflict with authority.
    He had some trouble with the law.
  7. (mining) A fault or interruption in a stratum.

Usage notesEdit


Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from trouble (noun)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


trouble (third-person singular simple present troubles, present participle troubling, simple past and past participle troubled)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To disturb, stir up, agitate (a medium, especially water).
    • Bible, John v. 4
      An angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water.
    • Milton
      God looking forth will trouble all his host.
  2. (transitive) To mentally distress; to cause (someone) to be anxious or perplexed.
    What she said about narcissism is troubling me.
    • Bible, John xii. 27
      Now is my soul troubled.
    • Shakespeare
      Take the boy to you; he so troubles me / 'Tis past enduring.
    • John Locke
      Never trouble yourself about those faults which age will cure.
  3. (transitive) In weaker sense: to bother or inconvenience.
    I will not trouble you to deliver the letter.
  4. (reflexive or intransitive) To take pains to do something.
    I won't trouble to post the letter today; I can do it tomorrow.
  5. (intransitive) To worry; to be anxious.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.26:
      Why trouble about the future? It is wholly uncertain.

Related termsEdit


Further readingEdit



Etymology 1Edit

Deverbal of troubler or from Old French troble.



trouble m (plural troubles)

  1. trouble
  2. (medicine) disorder
    trouble bipolaire
    bipolar disorder



  1. first-person singular present indicative of troubler
  2. third-person singular present indicative of troubler
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of troubler
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of troubler
  5. second-person singular imperative of troubler

Etymology 2Edit

From Old French troble, probably from a Vulgar Latin *turbulus (with metathesis), itself perhaps an alteration of Latin turbidus with influence from turbulentus; cf. also turbula. Compare Catalan tèrbol, Romanian tulbure.


trouble (plural troubles)

  1. (of a liquid) murky, turbid, muddy, thick, clouded, cloudy; not clear

Further readingEdit