Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “bother”

bother

verb 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/to look. You won't get any credit for doing it, so why bother? can't be bothered B2 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.

bother verb (WORRY)

B2 [T] to make someone feel worried 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.

bother verb (ANNOY)

A2 [T] to annoy or cause problems for someone: Don't bother your father when he's working. I'm sorry to bother you, but could you direct me to the station? I didn't want to bother her with work matters 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.

bother

noun uk   /ˈbɒð.ər/ us    /ˈbɑː.ðɚ/

bother noun (EFFORT)

[U] trouble or problems: I can take you - 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 special effort for me). It hardly seems worth the bother to go all that way just for two nights.UK I had a bit of bother getting hold of his phone number.

bother noun (ANNOYING)

[S] UK an annoying person or situation: I'm sorry to be a bother, but could I have that number again?

bother

exclamation uk   /ˈbɒð.ər/ us    /ˈbɑː.ðɚ/ UK old-fashioned
used to express anger: Oh bother! It's raining and I left my umbrella at home.
(Definition of bother from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of bother?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “bother” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

see the light of day

When something sees the light of day, it appears for the first time.

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More