Definition of vexed in English:



  • 1[attributive] (of a problem or issue) difficult and much debated; problematic.

    ‘the vexed question of how much money the government is going to spend’
    • ‘Part of the attraction for journalists, Walsh suggests, is that the drama broaches the vexed issue of the way in which news is compartmentalised.’
    • ‘The cost overrun factor as well as the vexed issue of rehabilitation of displaced problem continued to delay the project time and again.’
    • ‘The second issue that arises deals with the somewhat vexed problem of the collateral evidence rule.’
    • ‘It will establish how the nation will contend with the vexed question of hired-in labour to replace the efforts of locals.’
    • ‘The subsidies have been a vexed issue between the two biggest trading blocs in the world and a source of anger among developing countries, who claim they are being shut out of western markets.’
    • ‘What remains a vexed issue, however, is evolving the right module that can be integrated into the lifestyles of the police.’
    • ‘This is a vexed question about which there is much debate, and until there is a satisfactory resolution, Australian higher education will not attain the desired standards of international excellence.’
    • ‘The south will be looking for movement on the vexed issue of the separated families, even if that only extends to the provision of enhanced communications.’
    • ‘These days, though, we're all deafened not just by the advancing years, but by the ticking of our biological clocks, and fertility is a vexed issue for exactly the opposite reasons.’
    • ‘Public loos have been a vexed issue in the town for some time and council has been grappling with plans to build new public toilets in the caravan park, but that's hit a snag.’
    • ‘All these issues meet in the vexed question of governance.’
    • ‘One prompt for this project was a meeting of senior Scottish businessmen and politicians earlier this year on the vexed issue of how the country attracts and retains talented individuals.’
    • ‘The themes that underlie this vexed issue in France are as evident here: this is the latest chapter in a long and troubled history of how liberalism interacts with religion in Europe.’
    • ‘At the heart of this problem lies the vexed question for the judiciary of separating policy issues from legal issues, and this is well illustrated by the impossibility of accepting the orthodox view of judicial independence at face value.’
    • ‘The announcement is not before time, considering the many tedious months of procrastination and prevarication there have been over this vexed issue.’
    • ‘The management of irony and sincerity - their proper apportioning, their containment and release - is the vexed issue of this novel, as of so many contemporary works.’
    • ‘One of the most vexed issues with regard to the media concerns the coverage of the statements and actions of terrorist groups.’
    • ‘Sources expect there is little chance of agreement between the two sides on the vexed issue of overtime, expected to hit 64 million this year.’
    • ‘These legal issues lead into politico-legal questions such as the vexed issue of compliance: there are clearly serious difficulties involved in making states live up to their legal obligations.’
    • ‘But the appearance of financial cronyism, allied to the vexed issue of government extravagance on failing computer systems, does not sit well with the chancellor's austere image.’
    disputed, in dispute, contested, in contention, contentious, debated, debatable, open to debate, open to question, questionable, at issue, open to doubt, controversial, moot, unresolved, unsettled, up in the air, undecided, yet to be decided, undetermined, unconcluded, ongoing
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  • 2Annoyed, frustrated, or worried.

    ‘I'm very vexed with you!’
    • ‘Something that makes me surprised, astonished, vexed and angry is that there are persons and gangs year after year who appear to have a kind of license to cheat foreign tourists.’
    • ‘As his voice trailed I became more irritated, vexed at how he refused to answer me, let alone really pay attention to me.’
    • ‘She was starting to feel a bit vexed and it displeased her greatly.’
    • ‘Retyping the name and checking the spelling, Velsen got frustrated and was quite vexed at the computer.’
    • ‘He certainly did get more annoyed and vexed than other people seemed to, when things didn't quite go his way.’
    • ‘I was actually mad at this new French boss - miffed, annoyed, vexed - about getting promoted.’
    • ‘A fairly large crowd had gathered, including even Peter, who looked both vexed and worried at the same time.’
    • ‘With that Cheni sighed in frustration, vexed at having him not be able to understand him.’
    annoyed, irritated, angry, irate, furious, incensed, inflamed, enraged, infuriated, maddened, fuming, wrathful, choleric, exasperated, piqued, irked, nettled, ill-humoured, hot-tempered, testy, cross, in a bad mood, in a temper, in high dudgeon, huffy, in a huff, put out, fed up, disgruntled, displeased, dissatisfied, frustrated, resentful
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