[ uh-sper-i-tee ]
See synonyms for asperity on
noun,plural as·per·i·ties.
  1. harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony: The cause of her anger did not warrant such asperity.

  2. hardship; difficulty; rigor: the asperities of polar weather.

  1. roughness of surface; unevenness.

  2. something rough or harsh.

Origin of asperity

1200–50; late Middle English asperite (<Anglo-French ) <Latin asperitās, equivalent to asper rough + -itās-ity; replacing Middle English asprete<Anglo-French, Old French <Latin

Other words for asperity

Opposites for asperity

Words Nearby asperity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use asperity in a sentence

  • Yet her mother, at this, turned upon her with sudden asperity.

    The Tragic Muse | Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for asperity


/ (æˈspɛrɪtɪ) /

nounplural -ties
  1. roughness or sharpness of temper

  2. roughness or harshness of a surface, sound, taste, etc

  1. a condition hard to endure; affliction

  2. physics the elastically compressed region of contact between two surfaces caused by the normal force

Origin of asperity

C16: from Latin asperitās, 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