Definition of frustrate in English:


Syllabification: frus·trate
Pronunciation: /ˈfrəstrāt


[with object]
1Prevent (a plan or attempted action) from progressing, succeeding, or being fulfilled: his attempt to frustrate the merger
More example sentences
  • Now Constantine had had enough of their pagan attempts to frustrate his policies.
  • As at Prince Edward Island the unpredictable sub-Antarctic weather frustrated their plans to land.
  • But he said Russian opposition could continue to frustrate British-backed plans to reform UN sanctions against Iraq.
thwart, defeat, foil, block, stop, put a stop to, counter, spoil, check, balk, disappoint, forestall, dash, scotch, quash, crush, derail, snooker;
obstruct, impede, hamper, hinder, hamstring, stand in the way of
informal stymie, foul up, screw up, put the kibosh on, do for
informal scuttle
1.1Prevent (someone) from doing or achieving something: an increasingly popular way to frustrate car thieves
More example sentences
  • All or some of these measures can help to frustrate the would-be car thief.
1.2Cause (someone) to feel upset or annoyed, typically as a result of being unable to change or achieve something: (as adjective frustrating) it can be very frustrating to find that the size you want isn’t there
More example sentences
  • The man could be so frustrating sometimes.
  • She was so frustrating sometimes that he felt like throwing in the germ filled towel he called their friendship.
  • But it's so frustrating sometimes, 'cause she's got so much baggage that she's carrying around.
exasperate, infuriate, annoy, anger, vex, irritate, irk, try someone's patience;
disappoint, discontent, dissatisfy, discourage, dishearten, dispirit
informal aggravate, bug, miff


archaic Back to top  


late Middle English: from Latin frustrat- 'disappointed', from the verb frustrare, from frustra 'in vain'.



More example sentences
  • Most people who have been sued by the third-party recovery sector are NOT combative frustraters of the system.
  • This framework is pervasive, more than a century old, efficiency oriented, and largely unexamined as a systematic frustrater of innovation.
  • What frustraters me is that there was evidence clearly overlooked from our understanding, and from reading the forensic reports that this death was murder.


[as submodifier]: progress turned out to be frustratingly slow
More example sentences
  • Player selection is also frustratingly slow and while point-scoring is a forgiving art, goal-scoring is less so.
  • And on and on it goes, the frustratingly slow advance of the Allied troops through Europe.
  • Above all he is slow, often frustratingly, but when infinite patience is required, helpfully so.

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