Define exasperate

ex·​as·​per·​ate|\ ig-ˈza-spə-ˌrātHow to pronounce exasperate (audio)\

exasperated; exasperating

: to make (someone) very angry or annoyedThe criticism of his latest movie is sure to exasperate his admirers.We were exasperated by the delays.

transitive verb

1a: to cause irritation or annoyance toIt's a conundrum for any playwright: How do you enliven characters who alternately bore and exasperate each other?— Michael PhillipsIt's a demanding dining experience that may exhaust and exasperate some customers …— Thomas Matthews… they are just like any brothers who love and exasperate each other in equal measure …— Allison Glock

b: to excite the anger of : enrageShe did show favour to the youth in your sight only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour, to put fire in your heart and brimstone in your liver.— William Shakespeare… no doubt he thought that such rigorous discipline as that might exasperate five hundred emigrants into an insurrection.— Herman Melville

2obsolete : to make more grievous : aggravate

ex·​as·​per·​ate|\ ig-ˈza-sp(ə-)rətHow to pronounce exasperate (audio)\

1: irritated or annoyed especially to the point of injudicious action : exasperated

2: roughened with irregular prickles or elevationsexasperate seed coats


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To exasperate someone is to annoy him or her to the point of impatience, frustration and irritation, like when you exasperate a busy waiter by asking questions like "what are all the ingredients in the salad dressing?" and making him repeat the specials five times.

The verb exasperate comes from the Latin word exasperatus, which means “to roughen,” “irritate,” or “provoke.” To exasperate is to make something that is already bad even worse, like when sitting in traffic that is sure to make you late, you exasperate the person who is driving by bringing up an unpleasant topic, or the addition of twenty more students that exasperates the crowding in the cafeteria.

Definitions of exasperate

  1. synonyms:aggravate, exacerbate, worsen
    see moresee less
    ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate

    make better

    ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate

    get better

    show more antonyms...
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    excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame


    cause inflammation in

    cheapen, degrade

    lower the grade of something; reduce its worth

    devaluate, devalue

    remove the value from; deprive of its value

    chafe, fret, gall

    become or make sore by or as if by rubbing

    itch, rub, scratch

    scrape or rub as if to relieve itching

    type of:
    alter, change, modify

    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

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Meaning of exasperate in English:


See synonyms for exasperate

Translate exasperate into Spanish


[with object]
  • Irritate and frustrate (someone) intensely.

    ‘this futile process exasperates prison officers’

    • ‘In contrast to his vigour and emotional buoyancy later in seeing off the so-called fuel blockade, this dark episode was equally to infuriate, exhaust and exasperate the First Minister.’
    • ‘Some supporters have grown exasperated by his inconsistent crossing.’
    • ‘It's always more complicated than that, as annoying people are known to say with exasperating regularity.’
    • ‘After almost thirty years exasperating the Left, he now turned to enraging the Right.’
    • ‘Privately, court officials admit they are becoming increasingly exasperated by the very system they serve.’
    • ‘She loved her sister dearly and always would, but sometimes Staicie had the infuriating knack of being able to effortlessly exasperate a saint.’
    • ‘Speed bumps definitely do make you slow down, and taxi drivers take sadistic pleasure in exasperating their passengers by coming almost to a halt in front of them.’
    • ‘I took many exasperating telephone calls from the press during my time in Downing Street, but one in particular sticks in my mind.’
    • ‘What you have to do with a book, a simple, obvious, exasperating difficult thing, is, read it.’
    • ‘His Blair-type zeal took rotation, rotation, rotation to the most exasperating degree.’
    • ‘Together, they build up a vivid picture of cricket's most exasperating sons.’
    • ‘But for most of us, it will be the low point of an incredibly exasperating week.’
    • ‘There are no more exasperating things that a neighbour can do than play dance music very loud.’
    • ‘Derrida is so perversely myopic a reader, doggedly pursuing the finest flickers of meaning across a page, that he exasperates some of his opponents with his supersubtlety, not his airy generality.’
    • ‘What reasonable people on both sides of the argument share is a common desire for fairness, but what exasperates many is that tolerance should extend to those who refuse to display any of that quality to their neighbours.’
    • ‘If she makes one really good observation but then at another point she exasperates you with her complete failure to at all get what you're trying to tell her, do you dump her or give it another try?’
    • ‘He sometimes exasperates his journalistic contacts with a steady stream of press releases crammed with statistics, but it earned him kudos and contacts with the Scottish media that are now paying off.’
    • ‘An unreliable boyfriend at the best of times, Shaun persistently exasperates Liz by insisting they spend all their waking hours in the Winchester Arms, their local boozer.’
    • ‘Though the monk admits to some concern about death by a staged accident, more time behind bars he can contemplate with an equanimity that exasperates authorities.’
    • ‘But speculation that he may quit Britain for America exasperates him.’

    infuriate, incense, anger, annoy, irritate, madden, enrage, send into a rage, inflame, antagonize, provoke, irk, vex, gall, pique, try someone's patience, get on someone's nerves, make someone's blood boil, make someone's hackles rise, make someone see red, get someone's back up, rub up the wrong way, ruffle someone's feathers, drive to distraction

    infuriating, annoying, irritating, maddening, antagonizing, provoking, irking, irksome, vexing, vexatious, galling, trying, troublesome, bothersome, displeasing

    View synonyms





Mid 16th century from Latin exasperat- ‘irritated to anger’, from the verb exasperare (based on asper ‘rough’).


Meaning of exasperate in English

Philosophically knowledgeable readers will be exasperated and frustrated, while others are liable to be seriously misled.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

A slight, but nonetheless exasperating weakness lies in the glut of anachronisms peppering the prose of the book.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The more they attempted to resist their inventions the more they become exasperated at the constraints of such identities.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

He is clearly exasperated by the dictator's failure to heed the hardships which catalysed the revolt and by the subsequent oppression.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Such judgements by an exasperated social worker could be interpreted as pathologising an extremely marginalised service user.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

On the contrary, groundwater development is seen as a substitute for tanks, which are the main agents of replenishment, thus exasperating the negative externalities.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

What does the odd and sometimes exasperating way that students 'play' with language suggest in terms of classroom teaching approach?

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Often this was not done, out of forgetfulness, and after thirty-one days a bill would be delivered to the now exasperated customer which he or she felt obliged to pay.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

General practitioners are also exasperated by hospitals running out of acute beds and would prefer to be able to use community facilities, including specialists and nurses locally.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

He had, on the one hand, to avoid exasperating those who had bailed him out overseas.
From the

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These examples are from corpora and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.


Exasperate define


This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

[ ig-zas-puh-reyt ]

/ ɪgˈzæs pəˌreɪt /

verb (used with object),ex·as·per·at·ed,ex·as·per·at·ing.

to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely: He was exasperated by the senseless delays.

Archaic. to increase the intensity or violence of (disease, pain, feelings, etc.).


Botany. rough; covered with hard, projecting points, as a leaf.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of exasperate

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin exasperātus (past participle of exasperāre “to make rough, provoke”), equivalent to ex-ex-1 + asper “harsh, rough” + -ātus-ate1

synonym study for exasperate

1. See irritate.




exacerbate, exasperate

Words nearby exasperate

exaptation, exarate, exarch, exarchate, exarticulation, exasperate, exasperated, exasperation, exbi-, exc., excalation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to exasperate

annoy, disturb, embitter, peeve, infuriate, vex, excite, incense, enrage, agitate, rile, irk, irritate, gall, rankle, aggravate, pique, needle, get, madden

How to use exasperate in a sentence

  • We observe the way Alex exasperates employers, daycare workers and grocery clerks by simply existing in her current, impossible state.

    Netflix's Maid Is an Empathetic Portrait of Poverty That Dispels the Myth of Bootstrapping|Judy Berman|September 27, 2021|Time

  • “A Buckhead secession only exasperates a problem that has been there for decades.”

    Amid surge in violent crime, Atlanta’s wealthiest neighborhood ponders new city|Tim Craig|May 31, 2021|Washington Post

  • Washington was similarly exasperated during World War I when Britain used its control over international communications to limit news about the war as well as day-to-day economic information.

    China is taking aim at the key to America’s dominant role in the world|Gregory Mitrovich|March 25, 2021|Washington Post

  • As long as Congresses and Presidents exasperate each other, Schlesinger will have an audience, and an afterlife.

    The Man with the President’s Ear, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and JFK|Ted Widmer|October 27, 2013|DAILY BEAST

  • Just to exasperate Dayton further I put in a plea for gifts as against character in educational, artistic, and legislative work.

    The New Machiavelli|Herbert George Wells

  • For—perhaps this was partly the effect of the unrelenting heat—her insipid coquetries had begun to exasperate me more and more.

    In Accordance with the Evidence|Oliver Onions

  • What divisions separate the human race, and exasperate men against each other!

    Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II|Francis Augustus Cox

  • She added several other Sayings which instead of pacifying this silly Queen, did but exasperate her the more.

    The Memoirs of Charles-Lewis, Baron de Pollnitz, Volume I|Karl Ludwig von Pllnitz

  • It seems to me that the best way is to describe, with the simplest precision, those things that exasperate one.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2|Gustave Flaubert

British Dictionary definitions for exasperate



to cause great irritation or anger to; infuriate

to cause (an unpleasant feeling, condition, etc) to worsen; aggravate


botanyhaving a rough prickly surface because of the presence of hard projecting points

Derived forms of exasperate

exasperatedly, adverbexasperater, nounexasperating, adjectiveexasperatingly, adverb

exasperation, noun

Word Origin for exasperate

C16: from Latin exasperāre to make rough, from asper rough

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


I even looked, some advice on makeup, clothes, because Sveta was not always there to advise me. Not to mention the questions of a sexual nature, which were also quite a few. Studying all this and practicing while my mother was at work, and I was alone in. The apartment, I came to one thought and the more I thought about it, the more I looked for materials on the Internet about this, the more I came to the conclusion that everything it is quite feasible.

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After the shop, we went to Sasha, where we laid out the table and began to drink. As always happens, the party. Was divided into groups - Sanya and Vitya talked among themselves, arguing rather loudly about something, while Vanya preferred to chat with us. Ksyusha and I have already turned pink from a couple of glasses of wine, have become kinder, and giggled quite girlishly at his jokes.

I noticed how he devours my girlfriend with his eyes, but so what.

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