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[vek-sey-shuh s] /vɛkˈseɪ ʃəs/
causing vexation; troublesome; annoying:
a vexatious situation.
Law. (of legal actions) instituted without sufficient grounds and serving only to cause annoyance to the defendant.
disorderly; confused; troubled.
Origin of vexatious
First recorded in 1525-35; vexati(on) + -ous
Related forms
vexatiously, adverb
vexatiousness, noun
nonvexatious, adjective
nonvexatiously, adverb
nonvexatiousness, noun
unvexatious, adjective
unvexatiously, adverb
unvexatiousness, noun
1. disturbing, provoking, irritating.
1. delightful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vexatious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At last the vexatious work was finished, and he was free again.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • I was still wrestling with this vexatious question when I came to my mother's house.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • It is too long to write—and too vexatious” (this word was half erased), “troublesome.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • It's vexatious, when one has the wherewithal to pay for wetting his whistle!

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • To Wellington this was perhaps the most vexatious of all things in that vexatious time.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
  • I suppose it is vexatious to him to be kept out of his money.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
  • Of course, one must always pay the price, usually a vexatious one.

  • As he is the weaker, the Vole is obliged to submit to this vexatious tax.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • We are quoted as a vexatious question, and the eyes of the world are upon us.

British Dictionary definitions for vexatious


vexing or tending to vex
(law) (of a legal action or proceeding) instituted without sufficient grounds, esp so as to cause annoyance or embarrassment to the defendant: vexatious litigation
Derived Forms
vexatiously, adverb
vexatiousness, noun
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 vexatious

1530s; see vexation + -ous. Related: Vexatiously; vexatiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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