View synonyms for frustrate


[ fruhs-treyt ]

verb (used with object)

, frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing.
  1. to make (plans, efforts, etc.) worthless or of no avail; defeat; nullify:

    The student's indifference frustrated the teacher's efforts to help him.

    Synonyms: circumvent, foil, balk

  2. to disappoint or thwart (a person):

    a talented woman whom life had frustrated.

verb (used without object)

, frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing.
  1. to become frustrated:

    His trouble is that he frustrates much too easily.


  1. Obsolete. frustrated.


/ frʌˈstreɪt /


  1. to hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of; thwart
  2. to upset, agitate, or tire

    her constant complaints began to frustrate him


  1. archaic.
    frustrated or thwarted; baffled

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Derived Forms

  • frusˈtrater, noun

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Other Words From

  • frustrat·er noun
  • frustrat·ing·ly adverb
  • frus·tra·tive [fruhs, -trey-tiv, -tr, uh, -], adjective
  • re·frustrate verb (used with object) refrustrated refrustrating

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Word History and Origins

Origin of frustrate1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin frustrātus, past participle of frustrārī, verbal derivative of frustrā “in vain”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of frustrate1

C15: from Latin frustrāre to cheat, from frustrā in error

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Synonym Study

See thwart.

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Example Sentences

The technology prevents brief silence between songs, which could frustrate listeners and cause them to switch to a rival.

From Fortune

Rivera has grown increasingly frustrated by the response to the pandemic from many industry leaders.

From Eater

It is in the shadow of that rule that so many of our other policy debates come to naught, leaving voters frustrated and confused.

From Vox

As a first-year graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, Manthiram remembers being frustrated that his experiments weren’t turning out as expected.

The class was especially intrigued by recent molecular analysis of pottery, yet frustrated by the brevity of the studies done to date on the topic.

The delays would cause chaos and snarl traffic at checkpoints, frustrate orderly schedules, and make tempers short.

Such side-stepping will frustrate newcomers in search of elucidation, or at the very least a fuller picture.

The federal and state governments create cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solutions that frustrate rather than serve.

As a result, using the language of war may only serve to frustrate and mislead the public.

But deadlock in Congress, with the focus on debt instead of demand, continues to frustrate the recovery.

Your indomitable bravery will suffice to frustrate the attempt to carry out their plans.

Perrott, who wished to hunt out rather than pardon him, watched the ports so carefully as to frustrate many attempts at evasion.

Mussulmans took, of course, no precautions against it; for how could merely boiling the water frustrate the Will of Allah?

Did she, like the rest of them, suspect me of seeking to frustrate his suit by withholding his fortune?

It really looked as though they were aware of my presence, had divined my purpose, and were determined to frustrate it.