Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that is inconvenient, annoying, or vexatious; a bother: Having to stand in line was a nuisance. The disruptive child was a nuisance to the class.
  • n. Law A use of property or course of conduct that interferes with the legal rights of others by causing damage, annoyance, or inconvenience.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A minor annoyance or inconvenience.
  • n. A person or thing causing annoyance or inconvenience.
  • n. Anything harmful or offensive to the community or to a member of it, for which a legal remedy exists.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which annoys or gives trouble and vexation; that which is offensive or noxious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Injured or painful feeling; annoyance; displeasure; grief.
  • n. An annoying experience; a grievous infliction; trouble; inconvenience.
  • n. The infliction of hurt or injury.
  • n. That which or one who annoys, or gives trouble or injury; a troublesome or annoying thing; that which is noxious, offensive, or irritating; a plague; a bore: applied to persons and things.
  • n. In law, such a use of property or such a course of conduct as, irrespective of actual trespass against others or of malicious or actual criminal intent, transgresses the just restrictions upon use or conduct which the proximity of other persons or property in civilized communities imposes upon what would otherwise be rightful freedom.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (law) a broad legal concept including anything that disturbs the reasonable use of your property or endangers life and health or is offensive
  • n. a bothersome annoying person

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from nuire, nuis-, to harm, from Vulgar Latin *nocere, from Latin nocēre; see nek-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman nusaunce, nussance etc., from Old French nuisance, from nuisire ("to harm") (, from Latin noceō ("I harm")) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Being a nuisance is the way the child makes a home to return to.

    "Nuisance Value"

  • So I am to believe an attention seeker who dubs around online all day trying to be a nuisance is capable of judging the caliber of another man who actually has made something of themselves?

    Think Progress » Caving To Right-Wing Pressure, White House Reportedly Moving KSM Trial To Military Commission

  • The latter would sound like what lawyers term nuisance settlements -- the money corporations routinely shell out to make frivolous claims go away.

    ProPublica: When Is a Scoop Ready to be Published?

  • Beyond the nuisance, is there anything wrong with a little traffic?

    Tales of the Road

  • I expect Lewes is like other provincial towns in suffering from endless low-level nuisance from the yoof, who are scarcely ever even so much as told to stop: loutish behaviour, noise, breaking and spoiling things in public places.

    Early Day Motions Newmania Style

  • For Washington, having Chavez represent our regional neighbors would be an immediate slap in the face, and a significant long-term nuisance on the array of top priority issues now sitting with the Council, i.e. North Korea, Iran and the Lebanese ceasefire.

    Suzanne Nossel: Don't Cry for Me Venezuela

  • According to spamhaus. org, a Web site that tracks spam and its sources, Soloway has been a long-term nuisance the Internet, both in terms of the spam that he's sent and the people that he duped to use his spam service.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2007

  • Let's go back now to John Kerry's use of the word nuisance, in relation to terrorism in that "New York Times" article on Sunday.

    CNN Transcript Oct 11, 2004

  • In the presidential race, a huge clamor over the word nuisance today.

    CNN Transcript Oct 11, 2004

  • Thus no man has the right, either legal or moral, to establish, in an inhabited vicinage, a trade or manufacture which confessedly poisons the air or the water in his neighborhood; nor has one a moral right (even if there are technical difficulties in the way of declaring his calling a nuisance), to annoy his neighbors by an avocation grossly offensive or intolerably noisy.

    A Manual of Moral Philosophy

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  • Another nuisance is the nest of the large red ant; these collect and glue the leaves together, forming a cavity for the deposition of their(online dictionary)

    September 23, 2010