Definition of exasperate in English:

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Pronunciation: /iɡˈzaspəˌrāt/


[with object]
Irritate intensely; infuriate: this futile process exasperates prison officials (as adjective exasperated) she grew exasperated with his inability to notice anything
More example sentences
  • In contrast to his vigour and emotional buoyancy later in seeing off the so-called fuel blockade, this dark episode was equally to infuriate, exhaust and exasperate the First Minister.
  • Some supporters have grown exasperated by his inconsistent crossing.
  • It's always more complicated than that, as annoying people are known to say with exasperating regularity.
infuriate, incense, anger, annoy, irritate, madden, enrage, antagonize, provoke, irk, vex, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers, rub the wrong way
informal aggravate, rile, bug, needle, get someone's back up, get someone's goat, tee off, tick off
infuriating, annoying, irritating, maddening, provoking, irksome, vexatious, trying, displeasing
informal aggravating


The verbs exasperate and exacerbate are sometimes confused. Exasperate, the more common of the two, means ‘irritate or annoy to an extreme degree’ ( He calls me three times a day asking for money. It’s exasperating!). Exacerbate means ‘increase the bitterness or severity of’ ( the star shortstop’s loud self-congratulations only exacerbated his teammates' resentment).



Example sentences
  • I exasperatedly remarked that they were a perfect match, they were both aesthetically hideous with horrifically competitive personalities to match.
  • The Russians rather exasperatedly denied the story.
  • I woke up in the middle of the night with tormentably aching arms and the last threads of a dream in which K had exasperatedly told me to stop blogging.


Mid 16th century: from Latin exasperat- 'irritated to anger', from the verb exasperare (based on asper 'rough').

  • Exasperate is from Latin exasperare ‘irritate to anger’, based on asper ‘rough’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·as·per·ate

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