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bother - definition and synonyms

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verb     bother pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlebothering
past tensebothered
past participlebothered
  1. 1
    [intransitive] [usually in negatives or questions] if you do not bother to do something, you do not do it, either because there seems to be no good reason or because it involves too much effort
    bother to do something:

    It was such a stupid question, I didn’t even bother to reply.

    Has anyone ever bothered to ask the students for their opinion?

    bother with:

    Why bother with the expense of a babysitter if Carla will do it for free?

    bother doing something:

    He won’t come, so don’t bother inviting him.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to annoy someone by interrupting them when they are busy or want to be left alone

    I called your office because I didn’t want to bother you at home.

    Are the children bothering you?

    Doesn’t the noise bother you when you’re trying to sleep?

  3. 3
    [transitive] to make someone feel worried or upset

    There was something about him that really bothered her.

    it bothers someone that/when:

    Does it bother you that people think you’re older than him?

    1. a.
      to frighten someone, for example by following them around or trying to talk to them

      If he keeps bothering you, you should call the police.

    2. b.
      to cause someone physical pain

      I could see that his knee was bothering him.

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