[verb ig-zas-puh-reyt; adjective ig-zas-per-it]

verb (used with object), ex·as·per·at·ed, ex·as·per·at·ing.

to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely: He was exasperated by the senseless delays.
Archaic. to increase the intensity or violence of (disease, pain, feelings, etc.).


Botany. rough; covered with hard, projecting points, as a leaf.

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

Synonyms for exasperate

Synonym study

1. See irritate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exasperatingly

Historical Examples of exasperatingly

  • Sybil was smiling mysteriously and exasperatingly to herself.

  • On this occasion Robin had been exasperatingly self-contained.

  • How exasperatingly slow it was: how indifferent it seemed to her happiness!

    The Mask

    Arthur Hornblow

  • His lack of personal importance hampered him exasperatingly.

    Benjamin Franklin

    John Torrey Morse, Jr.

  • And all the while, she was so exasperatingly natural and innocent.

    John Marvel, Assistant

    Thomas Nelson Page

British Dictionary definitions for exasperatingly


verb (tr)

to cause great irritation or anger to; infuriate
to cause (an unpleasant feeling, condition, etc) to worsen; aggravate


botany having a rough prickly surface because of the presence of hard projecting points
Derived Formsexasperatedly, adverbexasperater, nounexasperating, adjectiveexasperatingly, adverbexasperation, noun

Word Origin for exasperate

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 exasperatingly



1530s, from Latin exasperatus, past participle of exasperare "roughen, irritate, provoke," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + asper "rough" (see asperity). Related: Exasperated; exasperating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper