• synonyms


[fruh-strey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for frustration on Thesaurus.com
  1. act of frustrating; state of being frustrated: the frustration of the president's efforts.
  2. an instance of being frustrated: to experience a series of frustrations before completing a project.
  3. something that frustrates, as an unresolved problem.
  4. a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.
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Origin of frustration

1425–75; late Middle English frustracioun < Latin frustrātiōn- (stem of frustrātiō) deception, disappointment. See frustrate, -ion
Related formsnon·frus·tra·tion, nouno·ver·frus·tra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for frustration

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His grandfather had often discussed this frustration in human life.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

  • He felt, of course, the mockery of this frustration of his powers.

    Waiting for Daylight

    Henry Major Tomlinson

  • There was no frustration, no uncertainty in Gunderson's mind.

    Eight Keys to Eden

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • How was it they were always compensating for their frustration?

    Next Door, Next World

    Robert Donald Locke

  • The frustration and the exposure of that plot has increased our reputation an hundredfold.

    The Loyalist

    James Francis Barrett

British Dictionary definitions for frustration


  1. the condition of being frustrated
  2. something that frustrates
  3. psychol
    1. the prevention or hindering of a potentially satisfying activity
    2. the emotional reaction to such prevention that may involve aggression
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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 frustration


"act of frustrating," 1550s, from Latin frustrationem (nominative frustratio) "a deception, a disappointment," noun of action from past participle stem of frustrari (see frustrate). Earlier (mid-15c.) with a sense of "nullification."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

frustration in Medicine


  1. The condition that results when an impulse or an action is thwarted by an external or an internal force.
  2. The blocking or thwarting of an impulse, purpose, or action.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.