Definition of frustrate in US English:



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

    ‘his attempt to frustrate the merger’
    • ‘Now Constantine had had enough of their pagan attempts to frustrate his policies.’
    • ‘His purpose is never frustrated for lack of resources, either human or material.’
    • ‘It illustrates how the little man can, in the end, outwit and frustrate the grandiose plans of the great.’
    • ‘Our efforts are being frustrated by the fact that EU legislation does not cover holiday clubs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But he said Russian opposition could continue to frustrate British-backed plans to reform UN sanctions against Iraq.’
    • ‘What is even worse is that it frustrates efforts to find a solution.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of the reasons he was so hated was because he was frustrating what they wanted.’
    • ‘However, the police frustrated the attempt to attack the houses of one community.’
    • ‘As at Prince Edward Island the unpredictable sub-Antarctic weather frustrated their plans to land.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Margaret had told Miss Gillies that she was' frustrating her ambition '.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Good plans are often frustrated by those who occupy strategic positions.’
    • ‘Of course, the failed indicator light was frustrating our efforts to read the indication.’
    • ‘Jeff Tracy and his sons sort out natural disasters and frustrate the dastardly plans of the megalomaniac villain called the Hood.’
    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. 1.1 Prevent (someone) from doing or achieving something.
      ‘an increasingly popular way to frustrate car thieves’
      • ‘All or some of these measures can help to frustrate the would-be car thief.’
    2. 1.2 Cause (someone) to feel upset or annoyed, typically as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.
      ‘it frustrated me that more couldn't be done for her’
      • ‘I think it frustrates adults when they cannot instill their ideas into teens.’
      • ‘The man could be so frustrating sometimes.’
      • ‘It frustrates me, and I'm hoping that things will change soon.’
      • ‘But it's so frustrating sometimes, 'cause she's got so much baggage that she's carrying around.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But it frustrates me that people are suffering, and, in my eyes and the eyes of many, not enough is being done to help.’
      • ‘Right now its all a little bit frustrating really.’
      • ‘Rain delays are hugely frustrating for players and fans alike.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Awkward, meaningless, or otherwise inappropriate staging frustrates the actor, often leading to a poor performance because it does not ‘work’ for him.’
      • ‘For most people this phase is the most frustrating aspect of dog ownership.’
      • ‘The most frustrating aspect of it all is that I have no choice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And it was kind of funny, but it was really frustrating at the same time.’
      • ‘When you see these polls that show your popularity down a bit, it doesn't frustrate you?’
      • ‘But yeah, it was a bit frustrating at times.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During my first year on the journal as a staff member, I was frustrated by all of the inefficiencies in our processes.’
      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’.