- 1 [intransitive, transitive] (often used in negative sentences and questions) to spend time and/or energy doing something ‘Shall 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 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 [transitive] to annoy, worry or upset somebody; to cause somebody 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 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 [transitive] to interrupt somebody; to talk to somebody 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. Word Origin late 17th cent. (as a noun in the dialect sense ‘noise, chatter’): of Anglo-Irish origin; probably related to Irish bodhaire
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BrE BrE//ˈbɒðə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɑːðər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bother
BrE BrE//ˈbɒðə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɑːðər//he / she / it bothers
BrE BrE//ˈbɒðəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɑːðərz//past simple bothered
BrE BrE//ˈbɒðəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɑːðərd//past participle bothered
BrE BrE//ˈbɒðəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɑːðərd//-ing form bothering
BrE BrE//ˈbɒðərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɑːðərɪŋ//