Definition of vex in English:

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Pronunciation: /vɛks/


[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, infuriate, anger, incense, inflame, enrage, irk, chagrin, exasperate, madden, pique, provoke, nettle, disturb, upset, perturb, discompose, put out;
try, try someone's patience, get on someone's nerves, bother, trouble, worry, agitate, harass, harry, fuss, fluster, ruffle, hound;
rankle with, nag, torment, pain, distress, tease, frustrate, chafe, grate, fret, gall, outrage, displease, offend, disgust, dissatisfy, disquiet;
British  rub up the wrong way;
Northern English  mither
informal peeve, aggravate, miff, bug, bite, eat, hassle, rile, get to, hack off, make someone's blood boil, make someone see red, get someone's goat, get someone's hackles up, make someone's hackles rise, get someone's back up, get someone's dander up, drive up the wall, drive bananas, needle, be a thorn in someone's side/flesh, be a pain in the neck, ruffle someone's feathers, get in someone's hair, get up someone's nose, get under someone's skin, give someone a hard time
British informal nark, get on someone's wick, give someone the hump, wind up, get across
North American informal tick off, ride, rankle, gravel, bum out
vulgar slang piss off, get on someone's tits
1.1 [no object] West Indian Be annoyed, irritated, or unhappy: I wouldn’t vex; it will be just great if whoever borrow the pump, just bring it back
More example sentences
  • I just get so vex with the phone for stealing my quarters so I leave.
  • Well, vex or not, Pebbles and I shopped for about 7 hours or more, at the end of which I found myself with 4 pairs of pants and $56 less in my account.
  • ‘I was just so vex because they took all my gold, so I ran after them and Tim came out bleeding, running,’ she said.
1.2 archaic Cause distress to: thou shalt not vex a stranger


chiefly West Indian
Angry; annoyed: I ain’t vex with you
More example sentences
  • All week leading up to the test match I was vex, fuming, I had it up to here.
  • You know you really getting me kind of vex; here it is you are relaxing in your swivel chair, one finger on your lips staring at the ceiling… don't you have any compassion for this embattled lady?
  • So, I was a get vex to rass’ cause I thought that it would have started by then on the TV.



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

Line breaks: vex

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