- irritated; annoyed: vexed at the slow salesclerks.
- much discussed or disputed: a vexed question.
- tossed about, as waves.
Origin of vexed
- 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 vexed
For weeks since our pilgrimage, the furious debate over the Ground Zero mosque has vexed me.A Muslim Questions the Mosque
Asra Q. Nomani
August 10, 2010
Master was vexed and anxious—almost angry, and yet full of solicitude.To be Read at Dusk
"Mother, don't be vexed with a fellow," he said more gently.
He was not vexed that he had made her cry, but vexed that she cried.
Don't be vexed at what I say; I know you advise for my good; but you do not know how I feel in this matter.Life in London
He was vexed with the young volunteer and vexed with himself.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
- annoyed, confused, or agitated
- much debated and discussed (esp in the phrase a vexed question)
- 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 vexed
mid-15c., past participle adjective from vex. Phrase vexed question attested from 1848.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper