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verb (used with object)
  1. to irritate; annoy; provoke: His noisy neighbors often vexed him.
  2. to torment; trouble; distress; plague; worry: Lack of money vexes many.
  3. to discuss or debate (a subject, question, etc.) with vigor or at great length: to vex a question endlessly without agreeing.
  4. to disturb by motion; stir up; toss about.
  5. 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
Related formsvex·er, nounvex·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for vex

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Antonyms for vex Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vexing


verb (tr)
  1. to anger or annoy
  2. to confuse; worry
  3. archaic to agitate
Derived Formsvexer, nounvexing, adjectivevexingly, adverb

Word Origin for vex

C15: from Old French vexer, from Latin vexāre to jolt (in carrying), from vehere to convey
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 vexing



early 15c., from Middle French vexer, from Latin vexare "to attack, harass, trouble," from vexus, collateral form of vectus, past participle of vehere "to draw, carry" (see vehicle). Related: Vexed; vexing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper