Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

trou·ble / ˈtrəbəl/ • n. 1. difficulty or problems: I had trouble finding somewhere to park the government's policies ran into trouble | our troubles are just beginning. ∎  the malfunction of something such as a machine or a part of the body: their helicopter developed engine trouble. ∎  effort or exertion made to do something, esp. when inconvenient: I wouldn't want to put you to any trouble he's gone to a lot of trouble to help you. ∎  a cause of worry or inconvenience: the kid had been no trouble up to now. ∎  a particular aspect or quality of something regarded as unsatisfactory or as a source of difficulty: that's the trouble with capitalism. ∎  a situation in which one is liable to incur punishment or blame: he's been in trouble with the police. ∎ inf., dated used to refer to the condition of a pregnant unmarried woman: she's not the first girl who's got herself into trouble. 2. public unrest or disorder: the cops are preparing for trouble by bringing in tear gas. • v. [tr.] 1. (often be troubled) cause distress or anxiety to: he was not troubled by doubts. ∎  [intr.] (trouble about/over/with) be distressed or anxious about: there is nothing you need trouble about. ∎  cause (someone) pain: my legs started to trouble me. ∎  cause (someone) inconvenience (typically used as a polite way of asking someone to do or provide something): sorry to trouble you could I trouble you for a receipt? ∎  [intr.] make the effort required to do something: oh, don't trouble to answer. 2. disturb or agitate (the surface in a pool or other body of water): the waters were troubled. PHRASES: ask for trouble inf. act in a way that is likely to incur problems or difficulties: hitching a lift is asking for trouble. look for trouble inf. behave in a way that is likely to provoke an argument or fight: youths take a cocktail of drink and drugs before going out to look for trouble.DERIVATIVES: trou·bler / -b(ə)lər/ n.