- to irritate; annoy; provoke: His noisy neighbors often vexed him.
- to torment; trouble; distress; plague; worry: Lack of money vexes many.
- to discuss or debate (a subject, question, etc.) with vigor or at great length: to vex a question endlessly without agreeing.
- to disturb by motion; stir up; toss about.
- to afflict with physical pain.
Origin of vex
1375–1425; late Middle English vexen < Old French vexer < Latin vexāre to shake, jolt, harass, annoy, frequentative of vehere to carry, convey
SynonymsSee more synonyms for vex on Thesaurus.com
1. anger, irk, fret, nettle. 2. hector, harry, harass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vex
The title of the Donne poem is “Oh, to Vex Me, Contraries Meet as One.”Cynthia Nixon on Bisexuality & Her New Role in ‘Wit’
January 24, 2012
Please torment, harass, vex, heckle, and badger those two blockheads until they honor their commitments to my defense fund.John Grisham's Debut Short Story
October 26, 2009
“Vex not thyself,” said the old dame, as she saw him struggling with his sobs.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
"Nay, you cannot vex me," he answered, all warm again at the very sight of her.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
She is a very good woman—very; but it's prudent not to vex her.Night and Morning, Complete
All this was the readier told me, because it was against me, and would tease and vex me.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
The chance was lost; but why should it vex her,—what was he to her?Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- to anger or annoy
- to confuse; worry
- archaic to agitate
C15: from Old French vexer, from Latin vexāre to jolt (in carrying), from vehere to convey
Word Origin and History for vex
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper