both|er1 W3S1 [ˈbɔðə US ˈba:ðər] v
1¦(make an effort)¦
4 somebody can't/couldn't be bothered (to do something)
5¦(cause pain)¦
6 sorry to bother you
8 not bother yourself/not bother your head
9 bother it/them etc
[Date: 1600-1700; Origin: Perhaps from Irish Gaelic bodhar 'deaf, bothered']
1.) ¦(MAKE AN EFFORT)¦ [I,T usually in questions and negatives]
to make the effort to do something
(not) bother to do sth
He didn't bother to answer the question.
not bother about/with
He didn't bother with a reply.
(not) bother doing sth
Many young people didn't bother voting.
don't/didn't/won't etc bother
'Do you want me to wait for you?' 'No, don't bother.'
Why bother to go abroad, when there are so many nice places here at home?
2.) ¦(WORRY)¦ [I and T]
to make someone feel slightly worried, upset, or concerned
Being in a crowd really bothers me.
It was very noisy, but that didn't bother me.
bother about
especially BrE
I try not to bother about what other people think.
bother sb that
It really bothered me that he'd forgotten my birthday.
3.) ¦(ANNOY)¦ [I and T]
to annoy someone, especially by interrupting them when they are trying to do something
Danny, don't bother Ellen while she's reading.
Would it bother you if I put on some music?
bother sb about/with sth
It didn't seem worth bothering the doctor about.
4.) sb can't/couldn't be bothered (to do sth)
especially BrE used to say that you do not want to make the effort to do something, or that you are not interested in doing something
It was so hot I couldn't be bothered to cook.
I should be revising, but I just can't be bothered.
5.) ¦(CAUSE PAIN)¦ [T]
if a part of your body bothers you, it is slightly painful or uncomfortable
My back's been bothering me.
6.) sorry to bother you
spoken used as a very polite way of interrupting someone when you want their attention
Sorry to bother you, but Mr. Grey is on the line.
7.) ¦(FRIGHTEN)¦ [T]
to upset or frighten someone by talking to them when they do not want to talk to you, trying to hurt them, touch them sexually etc
Don't worry, my dog won't bother you.
If he starts bothering you, let me know.
8.) not bother yourself/not bother your head
to not spend time or effort on something, either because it is not important or because it is too difficult
not bother yourself/not bother your head with/about
Cliff didn't want to bother himself with masses of detail.
9.) bother it/them etc
BrE spoken old-fashioned used to express a sudden feeling of annoyance about something
Oh bother it! The thread's broken again!
bother 2
bother2 n
1.) [U] especially BrE trouble or difficulty that has been caused by small problems and that usually only continues for a short time
= ↑trouble
It's an old car, but it's never caused me any bother.
bother with
Joe's been having a bit of bother with his back again.
'Thanks for your help.' ' It was no bother (=used to emphasize that you were happy to help someone) at all.'
My mother hardly ever went to the bother of (=the effort of) making cakes.
Are you sure the station is on your way? I don't want to give you any extra bother .
I should have phoned the shop first and saved myself the bother of going there.
sth is more bother than it's worth
(=it is too difficult to be worth doing)
2.) a bother
especially BrE a person or job that slightly annoys you by causing trouble or problems
I hate to be a bother, but could you show me how the photocopier works?
bother 3
bother3 interjection BrE informal
used when you are slightly annoyed
Oh bother! I forgot to phone Jean.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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