bother Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “bother” in the English Dictionary

"bother" in British English

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botherverb

uk   /ˈbɒð.ər/  us   /ˈbɑː.ðɚ/
  • bother verb (MAKE AN EFFORT)

B2 [I or T] to make the ​effort to do something: [+ to infinitive] He hasn't ​even bothered to write. You could have ​phoned us but you just didn't bother. [+ -ing verb] Don't bother making the ​bed - I'll do it ​later. [+ -ing verb or + to infinitive] You'd have ​found it if you'd bothered ​looking/tolook. You won't get any ​credit for doing it, so why bother?can't be bothered B2 mainly UK informal If you can't be bothered doing/to do something, you are too ​lazy or ​tired to do it: I can't be bothered to ​iron my ​clothes. Most ​evenings I can't be bothered ​cooking.

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  • bother verb (WORRY)

B2 [T] to make someone ​feelworried or ​upset: Does it bother you that he's out so much of the ​time? Living on my own has never bothered me. I don't ​care if he doesn't come - it doesn't bother me. [+ that] It bothers me that he doesn't ​seem to ​notice.

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  • bother verb (ANNOY)

A2 [T] to ​annoy or ​causeproblems for someone: Don't bother ​yourfather when he's ​working. I'm sorry to bother you, but could you ​help me ​lift this ​suitcase? I didn't ​want to bother her withworkmatters on her ​day off. The ​noise was ​beginning to bother us, so we ​left. She ​threatened to ​call the ​police if he didn't ​stop bothering her.

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  • She ​lookedbusy and I didn't ​want to bother her.
  • If the ​noise bothers you I'll ​switch it off.
  • The ​neighbours make a ​bit of ​noise but it doesn't bother me.
  • Will it bother you if I have the TV on?
  • I didn't ​want to bother her when she has so many ​problems of her own.

bothernoun

uk   /ˈbɒð.ər/  us   /ˈbɑː.ðɚ/
  • bother noun (EFFORT)

[U] trouble or ​problems: I can take you there - it's really no bother. Some ​people don't get ​married because they don't ​want the bother (= they don't ​want to make the ​effort that is ​necessary). Please don't go to any bother on my ​account (= don't make any ​specialeffort for me). It ​hardlyseems worth the bother to go all that way just for two ​nights.UK I had a ​bit of bother getting ​hold of his ​phonenumber.

botherexclamation

uk   /ˈbɒð.ər/  us   /ˈbɑː.ðɚ/ UK old-fashioned
(Definition of bother from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bother" in American English

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botherverb

 us   /ˈbɑð·ər/
  • bother verb (MAKE AN EFFORT)

[I] to make an ​effort to do something, esp. something that is not ​convenient: You won’t get any ​credit for doing it, so why bother? Don’t bother doing the ​laundry. [+ to infinitive] He didn’t ​even bother to say ​goodbye.
  • bother verb (ANNOY)

[I/T] to ​annoy, ​worry, or ​causeproblems for someone: [T] The ​heat was ​beginning to bother him, so he ​sat down. [T] Does it bother you if ​yourchildren aren’t ​interested?

bothernoun [U]

 us   /ˈbɑð·ər/
  • bother noun [U] (EFFORT)

a ​bigeffort: I’m not ​suregardening is ​worth the bother.
  • bother noun [U] (WORRY)

something that ​annoys or ​causesproblems for someone: That ​dog has never been a bother to anyone.
(Definition of bother from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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