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[verb ig-zas-puh-reyt; adjective ig-zas-per-it]
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verb (used with object), ex·as·per·at·ed, ex·as·per·at·ing.
  1. to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely: He was exasperated by the senseless delays.
  2. Archaic. to increase the intensity or violence of (disease, pain, feelings, etc.).
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  1. Botany. rough; covered with hard, projecting points, as a leaf.
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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 formsex·as·per·at·ed·ly, adverbex·as·per·at·er, nounex·as·per·at·ing·ly, adverbun·ex·as·per·at·ed, adjectiveun·ex·as·per·at·ing, adjective
Can be confusedexacerbate exasperate


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Synonym study

1. See irritate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for exasperating


verb (tr)
  1. to cause great irritation or anger to; infuriate
  2. to cause (an unpleasant feeling, condition, etc) to worsen; aggravate
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  1. botany having a rough prickly surface because of the presence of hard projecting points
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Derived Formsexasperatedly, adverbexasperater, nounexasperating, adjectiveexasperatingly, adverbexasperation, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper