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[verb ig-zas-puh-reyt; adjective ig-zas-per-it] /verb ɪgˈzæs pəˌreɪt; adjective ɪgˈzæs pər ɪt/
verb (used with object), exasperated, exasperating.
to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely:
He was exasperated by the senseless delays.
Archaic. to increase the intensity or violence of (disease, pain, feelings, etc.).
Botany. rough; covered with hard, projecting points, as a leaf.
Origin of exasperate
1525-35; < Latin exasperātus (past participle of exasperāre to make rough, provoke), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + asper harsh, rough + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
exasperatedly, adverb
exasperater, noun
exasperatingly, adverb
unexasperated, adjective
unexasperating, adjective
Can be confused
exacerbate, exasperate.
1. incense, anger, vex, inflame, infuriate. 2. exacerbate.
Synonym Study
1. See irritate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for exasperating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She experienced an exasperating effect of trying to see round a corner.

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • On the other hand, that it should be directed at my misfortune was exasperating.

  • But now she was suffering in a hopeless, common, exasperating way for the small comforts of life.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
  • It was most exasperating that the fog should have swept down upon us just when it did.

  • This charge was an exasperating one, and instantly raised the anger of the warrior to white heat.

    Camp-fire and Wigwam Edward Sylvester Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for exasperating


verb (transitive)
to cause great irritation or anger to; infuriate
to cause (an unpleasant feeling, condition, etc) to worsen; aggravate
(botany) having a rough prickly surface because of the presence of hard projecting points
Derived Forms
exasperatedly, adverb
exasperater, noun
exasperating, adjective
exasperatingly, adverb
exasperation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exasperāre to make rough, from asper rough
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for exasperating



1530s, from Latin exasperatus, past participle of exasperare "roughen, irritate, provoke," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + asper "rough" (see asperity). Related: Exasperated; exasperating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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