[ uh-sper-i-tee ]
/ əˈspɛr ɪ ti /

noun, plural as·per·i·ties.

harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony: The cause of her anger did not warrant such asperity.
hardship; difficulty; rigor: the asperities of polar weather.
roughness of surface; unevenness.
something rough or harsh.

Nearby words

  1. asperges,
  2. aspergilloma,
  3. aspergillosis,
  4. aspergillum,
  5. aspergillus,
  6. aspermatism,
  7. aspermia,
  8. asperse,
  9. aspersion,
  10. aspersions

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for asperity

British Dictionary definitions for asperity


/ (æˈspɛrɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

roughness or sharpness of temper
roughness or harshness of a surface, sound, taste, etc
a condition hard to endure; affliction
physics the elastically compressed region of contact between two surfaces caused by the normal force

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for asperity



c.1200, asprete "hardship, harshness of feelings," a figurative use, from Old French asperité "difficulty, painful situation, harsh treatment" (12c., Modern French âpreté), from Latin asperitatem (nominative asperitas) "roughness," from asper "rough, harsh," of unknown origin; in Latin used also of sour wine, bad weather, and hard times. Figurative meaning "harshness of feeling" attested from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper