- to irritate; annoy; provoke: His noisy neighbors often vexed him.
- to torment; trouble; distress; plague; worry: Lack of money vexes many.
- to discuss or debate (a subject, question, etc.) with vigor or at great length: to vex a question endlessly without agreeing.
- to disturb by motion; stir up; toss about.
- to afflict with physical pain.
Origin of vex
1375–1425; late Middle English vexen < Old French vexer < Latin vexāre to shake, jolt, harass, annoy, frequentative of vehere to carry, convey
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. anger, irk, fret, nettle. 2. hector, harry, harass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vexes
You can understand why it vexes supporters of activist government.David's Book Club: What Are Liberals Thinking?
July 13, 2012
But my younger daughter, Mrs General, rather worries and vexes my thoughts.Little Dorrit
Oh, you know, my pet—I'm sorry if it vexes you—I loved that baby!
It's not the giving him the money that vexes me, but the knowledge that he must make a bad use of it.The Fat and the Thin
If the child only were a boy there would be no need of Floyd marrying, and it vexes her.Floyd Grandon's Honor
Amanda Minnie Douglas
That is what vexes me so terribly—to think it was my own fault!A Christmas Posy
Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth
- to anger or annoy
- to confuse; worry
- archaic to agitate
C15: from Old French vexer, from Latin vexāre to jolt (in carrying), from vehere to convey
Word Origin and History for vexes
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper