Definition of frustrate in English:



  • 1Prevent (a plan or attempted action) from progressing, succeeding, or being fulfilled.

    ‘the rescue attempt was frustrated by bad weather’
    • ‘But he said Russian opposition could continue to frustrate British-backed plans to reform UN sanctions against Iraq.’
    • ‘It illustrates how the little man can, in the end, outwit and frustrate the grandiose plans of the great.’
    • ‘Of course, the failed indicator light was frustrating our efforts to read the indication.’
    • ‘What is even worse is that it frustrates efforts to find a solution.’
    • ‘One of the reasons he was so hated was because he was frustrating what they wanted.’
    • ‘As at Prince Edward Island the unpredictable sub-Antarctic weather frustrated their plans to land.’
    • ‘He wants to unlock these secrets quickly, but the landscape frustrates these attempts.’
    • ‘The president said that this situation could not be allowed to continue because it frustrated the expectations of the people.’
    • ‘Eventually Japan decides to assassinate the woman who so frustrates its plans of domination.’
    • ‘In the case cited, however, one is voting for him precisely in order to frustrate his pro-abortion purposes.’
    • ‘Already, legal moves are under way to frustrate the plan, and these will be partly grounded on the historical significance of the site that has been chosen.’
    • ‘These, it sees, are attempting to frustrate their progression to the police boards.’
    • ‘For some time, his ambition was frustrated by those who said that he simply wasn't at that level.’
    • ‘Jeff Tracy and his sons sort out natural disasters and frustrate the dastardly plans of the megalomaniac villain called the Hood.’
    • ‘Good plans are often frustrated by those who occupy strategic positions.’
    • ‘However, the police frustrated the attempt to attack the houses of one community.’
    • ‘Margaret had told Miss Gillies that she was' frustrating her ambition '.’
    • ‘Now Constantine had had enough of their pagan attempts to frustrate his policies.’
    • ‘Our efforts are being frustrated by the fact that EU legislation does not cover holiday clubs.’
    • ‘His purpose is never frustrated for lack of resources, either human or material.’
    thwart, defeat, foil, block, stop, put a stop to, counter, spoil, check, baulk, circumvent, disappoint, forestall, bar, dash, scotch, quash, crush, derail, nip in the bud, baffle, nullify, snooker
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    1. 1.1Prevent (someone) from doing or achieving something.
      ‘in numerous policy areas, central government has been frustrated by local authorities’
      • ‘All or some of these measures can help to frustrate the would-be car thief.’
  • 2Cause (someone) to feel upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.

    ‘it can be very frustrating to find that the size you want isn't there’
    • ‘During my first year on the journal as a staff member, I was frustrated by all of the inefficiencies in our processes.’
    • ‘But yeah, it was a bit frustrating at times.’
    • ‘The most frustrating aspect of it all is that I have no choice.’
    • ‘When we were keeping the ball in the corner, it frustrates the fans but it's a nervous team because we haven't won for a while.’
    • ‘Rain delays are hugely frustrating for players and fans alike.’
    • ‘The man could be so frustrating sometimes.’
    • ‘Almost none of these fights are necessary to the plot; instead, they are pointless digressions, guaranteed to frustrate any viewer actually taking an interest in the story.’
    • ‘When you see these polls that show your popularity down a bit, it doesn't frustrate you?’
    • ‘It frustrates me, and I'm hoping that things will change soon.’
    • ‘Awkward, meaningless, or otherwise inappropriate staging frustrates the actor, often leading to a poor performance because it does not ‘work’ for him.’
    • ‘Right now its all a little bit frustrating really.’
    • ‘But it frustrates me that people are suffering, and, in my eyes and the eyes of many, not enough is being done to help.’
    • ‘But it's so frustrating sometimes, 'cause she's got so much baggage that she's carrying around.’
    • ‘Allowing the produce to go to waste will not only frustrate farmers, but will also render fruitless, all the good efforts so far made to revive agriculture which collapsed in the last decade, due to bad policies.’
    • ‘And it was kind of funny, but it was really frustrating at the same time.’
    • ‘Lessons in which there are no right or wrong answers, and from which solid conclusions cannot be drawn, tend to frustrate boys, who often view them as pointless.’
    • ‘They claim they're protecting, you know, the case, which is extremely frustrating at times.’
    • ‘She was so frustrating sometimes that he felt like throwing in the germ filled towel he called their friendship.’
    • ‘I think it frustrates adults when they cannot instill their ideas into teens.’
    • ‘For most people this phase is the most frustrating aspect of dog ownership.’
    exasperate, infuriate, annoy, anger, madden, vex, irritate, irk, embitter, sour, get someone's back up, try someone's patience
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  • Frustrated.


Late Middle English: from Latin frustrat- disappointed, from the verb frustrare, from frustra in vain.