Definition of vex in English:

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Pronunciation: /veks/


[with object]
1Make (someone) feel annoyed, frustrated, or worried, especially with trivial matters: the memory of the conversation still vexed him (as adjective vexing) the most vexing questions for policymakers
More example sentences
  • I think I'll ask her this question that is vexing me so.
  • If the Declaration inspires us with lofty ideals, the Constitution vexes us with questions of interpretation.
  • The finding sheds further light on a question that has vexed scientists for years: How do birds navigate between nesting areas separated by thousands of miles with pinpoint accuracy?
annoy, irritate, anger, infuriate, exasperate, irk, gall, pique, put out, antagonize, nettle, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers, rattle someone's cage, make someone's hackles rise, rub the wrong way
informal aggravate, peeve, miff, rile, needle, get (to), bug, get someone's goat, get someone's back up, get someone's dander up, tee off, tick off, burn up, rankle
1.1 archaic Cause distress to: thou shalt not vex a stranger



Example sentences
  • Lashing out against vexers doesn't get you a column and a half in The New York Times and editorials in 250 newspapers.


Example sentences
  • However, from my perspective, it seems that the vast majority of issues distinguishing the main parties are purely cosmetic in nature and vexingly it seems that it is on these issues that the parties positions are most clear.
  • The problem seems to be that she sets her pieces in not-quite-exotic-enough elsewheres, and often, vexingly, in the distant and only infrequently heroic past.
  • The tortured syntax so often evident in his prose seemed to be matched only by the profundity of insight which that very syntax seemed at once to promise and vet also so vexingly.


Late Middle English: from Old French vexer, from Latin vexare 'shake, disturb'.

  • Vex and vexation come via Old French from Latin vexare ‘shake, disturb’.

Words that rhyme with vex

annex, convex, ex, flex, hex, perplex, Rex, specs, Tex, Tex-Mex

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vex

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