Definition of asperity in English:



  • 1Harshness of tone or manner.

    ‘he pointed this out with some asperity’
    • ‘"We seemed incapable of venturing out onto those expansive grounds without encountering one another," She said with some asperity.’
    • ‘"You seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time watching me," said Emily with uncharacteristic asperity.’
    • ‘"I did not avoid the engagement out of spite," said Emily with some asperity.’
    • ‘"No, I dare say not," said the professor with asperity.’
    • ‘"You and Fitz would drown in your own filth before you noticed anything was out of place," William exclaimed with 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.’
    • ‘Samples, tapes, synths, drum programmes and all-sorts have been embedded into the sound to create a dynamic asperity.’
    • ‘"In case you hadn't noticed, Milord," he said with just a hint of asperity, " everyone's avoiding you.’
    • ‘Writing in French purified his style, and his translations into English of his work retain a penitential rigour and asperity.’
    • ‘To which she is likely to respond with a touch of asperity: "That is the wrong question".’
    • ‘"He's right there," said I with some asperity.’
    • ‘He opposed devolution consistently, and with some asperity, precisely because of its potential to elide into independence.’
    • ‘They could also be very funny, or at least generously sprinkled with oblique and telling asperities.’
    • ‘"Even Lizzie could have married him," said Mr Bennet with some 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.’
    • ‘I sniffed at his asperity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?"’
    • ‘"Yes you would suggest," said Emma with some asperity.’
    • ‘"No, of course he did not," she replied with some asperity.’
    harshness, sharpness, roughness, abrasiveness, severity, acerbity, astringency, bitterness, acidity, tartness, edge, acrimony, virulence, sarcasm
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Harsh 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.’
      • ‘Regarding the Middle East, it is mistaking truculent asperity and tiresome repetition for Churchillian wartime eloquence.’
      • ‘We became acquainted with each other, and made many lasting personal friendships, which do much to soften the asperities of future newspaper battles.’
      • ‘Thermal asperity compensation using multiple sync marks for retroactive and split segment data synchronization in a magnetic disk storage system’
      • ‘If the music has an added asperity, Soviet experience was a hard teacher.’
      • ‘Marx, reacting against the asperities of Capitalism, will establish a metanarrative promising emancipation from exploitation and alienation.’
      • ‘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."’
    2. 1.2A rough edge on a surface.
      ‘the asperities of the metal surfaces’
      • ‘The asperities (bumps) on the ceramic surface are initially large and abrasive.’
      • ‘Magnetic disk drive having read channel in which low-frequency cutoff is set relatively high to cope with thermal asperity’
      • ‘Disk drive and servo pattern write method for preventing read errors resulting from a thermal asperity within an erase area between a servo pad area and a gray code area’
      • ‘In particular, seamounts on the subducting plate may serve as earthquake nucleation sites or asperities.’
      • ‘The fracture zones appear to extend beneath the Caribbean plate and act as asperities marked by the higher-than-average of incidence of earthquakes.’
      • ‘A disc drive data recovery system for recovering data from a magnetic disc having asperities provided.’
      • ‘At least some of the pressure sensors have a pad asperity provided thereon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The debris accumulates between the asperities, and occasionally completely covers them.’


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