from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause to be irritated, especially by repeated acts; trouble or annoy: synonym: annoy.
  • intransitive verb To make agitated or perplexed; upset.
  • intransitive verb To intrude on without warrant or invitation; disturb.
  • intransitive verb To give discomfort or pain to.
  • intransitive verb To take the trouble (to do something); concern oneself with (accomplishing something).
  • intransitive verb To take trouble; concern oneself.
  • noun A cause or state of disturbance.
  • interjection Used to express annoyance or mild irritation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bewilder; confuse.
  • To give trouble to; annoy; pester; worry.
  • [Used in the imperative as an expression of impatience, or as a mild sort of execration.
  • Synonyms Pester, Worry, etc. See tease, v. t.
  • To trouble one's self; make many words or much ado: as, don't bother about that.
  • noun Blarney; humbug; palaver.
  • noun Trouble; vexation; plague: as, what a bother it is!

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To feel care or anxiety; to make or take trouble; to be troublesome.
  • transitive verb To annoy; to trouble; to worry; to perplex. See pother.
  • noun One who, or that which, bothers; state of perplexity or annoyance; embarrassment; worry; disturbance; petty trouble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To annoy, to disturb, to irritate.
  • verb intransitive To do something at one's own inconvenience.
  • verb intransitive To do something which is of negligible inconvenience.
  • noun Fuss, ado.
  • noun Trouble, inconvenience.
  • interjection A mild expression of annoyance.

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

  • verb make nervous or agitated
  • verb to cause inconvenience or discomfort to
  • noun an angry disturbance
  • verb make confused or perplexed or puzzled
  • verb take the trouble to do something; concern oneself
  • verb intrude or enter uninvited
  • verb cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
  • noun something or someone that causes trouble; a source of unhappiness


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

[Probably from dialectal bodder, possibly of Celtic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Scots bauther, bather "to bother". Origin unknown. Perhaps related to Scots pother "to make a stir or commotion, bustle", also of unknown origin.


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  • "PROSERPINE: Bother! You've been meddling with my typewriter, Mr. Marchbanks; and there's not the least use in your trying to look as if you hadn't.

    MARCHBANKS (timidly): I'm very sorry, Miss Garnett. I only tried to make it write."

    - George Bernard Shaw, 'Candida'.

    December 13, 2008

  • Is that one of Shaw's fungal plays?

    Bother, mother! Not another brother! What a pother!

    December 13, 2008

  • You don't say: 'Both his mother and sister had hanged themselves five years ago and this had always bothered Ligesh.'

    Is this word taken to have a stronger sense in India, or is this sheer understatement?

    June 9, 2009

  • It's a bit Monty Python :-(

    June 10, 2009