American English

Definition of bother verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bother
    he / she / it bothers
    past simple bothered
    -ing form bothering
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] (often used in negative sentences and questions) to spend time and/or energy doing something “Should I wait?” “No, don't bother.” I don't know why I bother! Nobody ever listens! If that's all the thanks I get, I won't bother in the future! bother with/about something It's not worth bothering with (= using) an umbrella—the car's just outside. I don't know why you bother with that crowd (= why you spend time with them). He doesn't bother much about his appearance. bother to do something He didn't even bother to let me know he was coming. bother doing something Why bother asking if you're not really interested?
  2. 2[transitive] to annoy, worry, or upset someone; to cause someone trouble or pain bother somebody The thing that bothers me is… That sprained ankle is still bothering her (= hurting). “I'm sorry he was so rude to you.” “It doesn't bother me.” bother somebody with something I don't want to bother her with my problems at the moment. bother somebody about something You don't sound too bothered about it. bother somebody that… Does it bother you that she earns more than you? it bothers somebody to do something It bothers me to think of her alone in that big house.
  3. 3[transitive] to interrupt someone; to talk to someone when they do not want to talk to you bother somebody Stop bothering me when I'm working. Let me know if he bothers you again. Sorry to bother you, but there's a call for you on line two.
  4. Idioms
    can't be bothered (to do something)
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    used to say that you do not want to spend time and/or energy doing something I should really do some work this weekend, but I can't be bothered. All this happened because you couldn't be bothered to give me the message.
    (all) hot and bothered (informal)
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    in a state of anxiety or confusion because you are under too much pressure, have a problem, are trying to hurry, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bother

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