Definition of asperity in English:



mass noun
  • 1Harshness of tone or manner.

    ‘he pointed this out with some asperity’
    • ‘"Yes you would suggest," said Emma with some asperity.’
    • ‘When I asked if he had never wanted to go back to South Africa, he responded with some asperity.’
    • ‘‘Yes, there were lots of things in there,’ she says, with a hint of asperity.’
    • ‘He also points out with asperity that Fry abandoned a play to near-certain death, allowing his friend Rik Mayall to sink with it.’
    • ‘‘I have to say, getting on the road and pounding along running or getting in the gym and spending hours pumping iron is not his greatest interest in life,’ Head said, with asperity.’
    • ‘"He's right there," said I with some asperity.’
    • ‘‘Well, make sure it never crosses your navel,’ she retorted with asperity.’
    • ‘"You and Fitz would drown in your own filth before you noticed anything was out of place," William exclaimed with asperity.’
    • ‘I can move her, if you like,’ the elderly surgeon said, a hint of asperity in his voice, ‘but this is the infirmary, after all-'’
    • ‘‘Oh, you know what I mean,’ Lady Benthorne said with some asperity.’
    • ‘As a friend of mine observed with some asperity, ‘Who cares if they're fresh and locally grown if they're covered in sugary goo?’’
    • ‘"In case you hadn't noticed, Milord," he said with just a hint of asperity, " everyone's avoiding you.’
    • ‘He opposed devolution consistently, and with some asperity, precisely because of its potential to elide into independence.’
    • ‘Writing in French purified his style, and his translations into English of his work retain a penitential rigour and asperity.’
    • ‘I was trying to keep my asperity to a minimum, for his sake.’
    • ‘I sniffed at his asperity.’
    • ‘''I can't imagine Alex is happy with you trying to check up on me on the first full day of your marriage," he replied with some asperity.’
    • ‘In another post Keith spoke with some asperity about ‘dolts’ who don't think much about the world around them and know little of politics.’
    • ‘"No, I dare say not," said the professor with asperity.’
    • ‘His music is liberally dissonant within a strongly tonal framework, the asperity resulting from the play of contrapuntal lines rather than from wilful experiment.’
    • ‘"Even Lizzie could have married him," said Mr Bennet with some asperity.’
    • ‘Samples, tapes, synths, drum programmes and all-sorts have been embedded into the sound to create a dynamic asperity.’
    • ‘At this point in the play, folk culture of Lenten abnegation and christening joy collides with mannered personal interaction and judgmental asperity.’
    • ‘‘If speaking of Demons was a crime,’ Dorain retorted with asperity, ‘we'd all burn!’’
    • ‘That was something that would attract asperity.’
    • ‘‘They are one and the same, young lady,’ the officer told her with some asperity. ‘I take it you didn't exactly plan this trip.’’
    • ‘Mahgoub replied with asperity that he had already asked the rebels to lay down their arms; it was now up to the Pope himself to petition the rebels.’
    • ‘"I did not avoid the engagement out of spite," said Emily with some asperity.’
    • ‘To which she is likely to respond with a touch of asperity: "That is the wrong question".’
    • ‘"You seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time watching me," said Emily with uncharacteristic asperity.’
    • ‘‘In case you hadn't noticed, Milord, ‘he said with just a hint of asperity, ‘everyone's avoiding you.’’
    • ‘"No, of course he did not," she replied with some asperity.’
    • ‘To which she is likely to respond with a touch of asperity: ‘That is the wrong question.’’
    • ‘‘Because I said so’, Emmett replied with some asperity.’
    • ‘As a friend of mine observed with some asperity, "Who cares if they're fresh and locally grown if they're covered in sugary goo?"’
    • ‘"We seemed incapable of venturing out onto those expansive grounds without encountering one another," She said with some asperity.’
    • ‘They could also be very funny, or at least generously sprinkled with oblique and telling asperities.’
    harshness, sharpness, roughness, abrasiveness, severity, acerbity, astringency, bitterness, acidity, tartness, edge, acrimony, virulence, sarcasm
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1asperities Harsh qualities or conditions.
      ‘the asperities of a harsh and divided society’
      • ‘In the Georgian conflict, as in the more subtle variants of energy diplomacy, Russians have shown a harshly utilitarian asperity in connecting means and ends.’
      • ‘It conveys pathos, asperity or affectionate irony, rather as if one were in the presence of a relative from whom little is hid and to whom little need to be explained.’
      • ‘The asperities on the ceramic surface are initially large and abrasive.’
      • ‘The fracture zones appear to extend beneath the Caribbean plate and act as asperities marked by the higher-than-average of incidence of earthquakes.’
      • ‘Regarding the Middle East, it is mistaking truculent asperity and tiresome repetition for Churchillian wartime eloquence.’
      • ‘Shear stress can be occasionally intensified if a given rock volume is exposed to local geometric effects such as bending around an asperity on a fault plane.’
      • ‘This form of displacement is often called ‘stick-slip’; that is, strain builds up in the rocks next to the fault but there is no slip for some time because the rocks on either side of the fault are stuck together by features such as asperities.’
      • ‘By frequent collision asperities were worn off, and a foundation was laid for the establishment of a nation, out of discordant materials.’
      • ‘This can be explained by the existence of a microfracture dilatancy zone at the level of this sample, causing relatively large fracture asperities reflected by pore throats at 85, 25 and 7 m.’
      • ‘If the music has an added asperity, Soviet experience was a hard teacher.’
      • ‘And he looked forward to the day when ‘the asperities and peculiarities of their character ‘would be worn away and they would become ‘liberal Unitarian Christians.’’
      • ‘In this case, the resistance to sliding is produced by harder asperities on the surfaces and by adhesion between points of solid-solid contact.’
      • ‘She is forced to deal with the asperity of her new Frontier life, and put up with a society that is formed mostly by men, who are constantly over powering her, and unyielding in their torment, her own family being no exception.’
      • ‘And he looked forward to the day when "the asperities and peculiarities of their character" would be worn away and they would become "liberal Unitarian Christians."’
      • ‘Thermal asperity compensation using multiple sync marks for retroactive and split segment data synchronization in a magnetic disk storage system’
      • ‘We became acquainted with each other, and made many lasting personal friendships, which do much to soften the asperities of future newspaper battles.’
      • ‘Marx, reacting against the asperities of Capitalism, will establish a metanarrative promising emancipation from exploitation and alienation.’
      • ‘In particular, seamounts on the subducting plate may serve as earthquake nucleation sites or asperities.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘hardship, rigour’): from Old French asperite, or Latin asperitas, from asper ‘rough’.