Definition of vexation in US English:



  • 1The state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried.

    ‘Jenny bit her lip in vexation’
    • ‘She leaned forward and rubbed her temples, sighing in vexation.’
    • ‘And such challenges may be used as an instrument of delay or vexation at every assize throughout the kingdom.’
    • ‘To her extreme vexation, she was once put on the national curriculum for 12 to 15-year-olds.’
    • ‘She delayed agreeing to his suggestions and changes and thereby caused considerable vexation both to Dickens and to his sub-editor.’
    • ‘In my opinion no recovery has been justified on the evidence with respect to mental distress, vexation, etc.’
    • ‘While I wish them all luck I cannot say I have much patience for their vexation.’
    • ‘To understand my vexation with this, let me share my schedule from this past week with you: five engineering midterms, five days.’
    • ‘‘Blame it on me, why don't you,’ I muttered in vexation.’
    • ‘By implication, the realist who meets force with force without vexation or anxiety is the one who fails to experience the sublime.’
    • ‘The cumulative effect is not a developing argument but a gut sense of Sebald's inconsolable vexation.’
    • ‘It sort of simmers and bubbles and from time to time erupts into a lava-like spasm of vexation, pique and peevishness.’
    • ‘Despite the huge vexation it certainly causes, many of us have become so accustomed to it that we look upon it as a ‘normal’ phenomenon or something laughable.’
    • ‘A look of vexation crossed Lily's face then, and for a moment D.J. was afraid he'd said something wrong.’
    • ‘This may be a trial that every sportsman must undergo, but the focus on the player also arises from a manager's vexation with his own malfunctioning plans.’
    • ‘Isly bit her lip in vexation as tears poured down her cheeks.’
    • ‘He would promptly quit in vexation (crayons flying through the air like so much shrapnel) and would take incredible cajoling and persuasion to try again.’
    • ‘Tedium and vexation accompany us as we wait with impatience to make a way out of our homelessness in a hobbling, heartless world into a shelter prepared for us from the foundation of the earth.’
    • ‘Still, there are egregious cases of blatant exploitation of the suffering of victims which apparently evoke no outrage, no vexation among the supporters of the war.’
    • ‘You sense the writing itself begin to twitch with vexation at being unable to realise the inner life of the Hispanic tobacco-leaf rollers.’
    • ‘He's gone back to staring at me, this time with far more vexation and hostility.’
    annoyance, irritation, irritability, exasperation, anger, rage, fury, temper, bad temper, hot temper, wrath, spleen, chagrin, pique, crossness, indignation, displeasure, discontent, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, ill humour, peevishness, petulance, testiness, tetchiness, gall, resentment, umbrage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Something that causes annoyance, frustration, or worry.
      ‘the cares and vexations of life’
      • ‘The man seemed to have grasped the essence of standing aloof from worldly anxieties and vexations.’
      • ‘I find I am much less argumentative with people in person when I have the opportunity to work through vexations in the peculiarly public way blogging allows.’
      • ‘If the Social Democratic policy has chafed occasionally, the benefits far outweigh the vexations.’
      • ‘It was my well-won reward after the trials on the road and the vexations by which for several years various officials had endeavoured to prevent my wanderings in Tibet.’
      • ‘The technical difficulties encountered in the display of Net-based media are just part of the vexations that plague curators as they attempt to incorporate this work into a gallery setting.’
      • ‘I could tell there was a certain vexation that had overcome him, as though talking to me was some sort of obtuse chore and not a pleasant experience.’
      • ‘It is easy to dismiss racial profiling and other examples of prejudice as minor vexations when the nation faces deadly attacks on its citizens both here and abroad.’
      • ‘The lens in this collection is focused very carefully upon the quotidian, with all of its utterly familiar vexations.’
      • ‘This point is really a vexation of the mind and a frittering way of precious energy.’
      • ‘My whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.’
      • ‘Here the delusion of judicial immortality takes its most pathetic form, blind to vanity and vexation of spirit.’
      • ‘You're involved in an academic setting which, I'm sure has its vexations, but it beats the factory.’
      • ‘Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.’
      • ‘But minor vexations are not the same as an assault on fundamental liberties.’
      • ‘But it is hard to deny that the noise of departure by persons who may have had too much liquor constitutes a vexation to those living nearby.’
      • ‘We can no longer afford to dismiss the vexations of terror now that they have invaded our own spiritual and intellectual terrain.’
      • ‘I would rather do that than attempt to define what vexation and oppression mean; they must vary with the circumstances of each case.’
      • ‘I began to notice it about 10 years ago, in my early middle age, when the larger vexations of adulthood - don't get me started - were becoming real to me for the first time.’
      • ‘All distress, annoyance, frustration, vexation and so on is a reaction to things perceived through the senses, usually of sight or hearing.’
      • ‘But it was in the decisions they made to cause vexation that slaves most forcefully expressed their humanity, and their opposition to the institution that oppressed them.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin vexatio(n-), from vexare (see vex).