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trouble definition


This page has 22 definitions of trouble in English and French. Trouble is a noun, verb and adjective. Examples of how to use trouble in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: troublé

English trouble definition


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 *turbulō, 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.
    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 person liable to place others or themself in such a situation.
  4. A violent occurrence or event.
    the troubles in Northern Ireland
    • 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. […]”
  5. Efforts taken or expended, typically beyond the normal required.
    It's no trouble for me to edit it.
  6. A malfunction.
    He's been in hospital with some heart trouble.   My old car has engine trouble.
  7. Liability to punishment; conflict with authority.
    He had some trouble with the law.
  8. (mining) A fault or interruption in a stratum.
  9. (Cockney rhyming slang) Wife. Clipping of trouble and strife.
  10. Children's slang for an adult's annoyance over a personal inadequacy or infraction.
    I'm telling the teacher and you're going to get in trouble for that


Derived terms



  • Jersey Dutch: tröbel


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also


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).
  2. (transitive) To mentally distress; to cause (someone) to be anxious or perplexed.
    What she said about narcissism is troubling me.
  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.

Derived terms

Related terms


  • Jersey Dutch: tröble


Further reading


French trouble definition


Etymology 1

Deverbal from troubler or from Old French troble.


trouble m (plural troubles)

  1. trouble
  2. (medicine, psychiatry) disorder
Derived terms

(medicine, psychiatry):

Etymology 2

Inherited 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
Derived terms

Etymology 3

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.



  1. inflection of troubler:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading