ex·​as·​per·​at·​ed ig-ˈza-spə-ˌrā-təd How to pronounce exasperated (audio)
: having or showing strong feelings of irritation or annoyance
an exasperated sigh
Ricardo congratulated himself on having left his revolver behind. He was so exasperated that he didn't know what he might have done.Joseph Conrad
… she is the sort of curmudgeon who makes a point of trampling on flower beds when she goes for a walk, and greets the death of her longtime housekeeper … with a grim, exasperated roll of the eyes.Ben Brantley
exasperatedly adverb
"I keep telling them not to ring the doorbell!" said Sirius exasperatedly, hurrying back out of the room. J. K. Rowling
It's aggravation that motivates Tennison's signature tic: running her fingers exasperatedly through her short, faded blonde hair. Rand Richards Cooper

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Exacerbate vs. Exasperate

Exacerbate is frequently confused with exasperate, and with good reason. Not only do these words resemble one another in spelling and pronunciation, they also at one time held exceedingly similar meanings. Exasperate is today most commonly used as a synonym of annoy, but for several hundred years it also had the meanings “to make more grievous” and “to make harsh or harsher.” Exacerbate is now the more common choice of these two words when one seeks to indicate that something is becoming increasingly bitter, violent, or unpleasant. It comes in part from the Latin word acer, meaning “sharp,” whereas exasperate is from asper, the Latin word for “rough.”

Examples of exasperated in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Northern Irishman had cut an exasperated figure following a double-bogey at the par-four 14th, but roared home with three consecutive birdies to card 69 – a score exactly in-between his brilliant opening 65 and error-strewn second round 73. Jack Bantock, CNN, 16 Mar. 2024 For him, the nightmare is different: An ace driver is now her exasperated driving instructor. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 The Apple show occasionally went viral for confrontational interviews, but where Bush-era Stewart was a soothing source of exasperated sanity, political comedy during the Trump years could feel like a futile shaking of a fist in the face of a cultural tsunami. Alison Herman, Variety, 13 Feb. 2024 Caesar, as the comically exasperated (but kinda supportive) coach putting Danny Zuko (John Travolta) through his paces in a kind of anti-Rocky montage, is a treat. Debby Wolfinsohn, EW.com, 15 Sep. 2023 That’s given rise to viral TikToks from exasperated adults. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2024 The exasperated biologists put together a fake memorandum listing a different criterion for every single day. Travis Loller, Fortune, 28 Dec. 2023 Onstage, Maniscalco is every bit the exasperated son, husband and father who finds even a trip to the grocery store a painful undertaking. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, 25 Nov. 2023 The appointment of Jon Knight to the vector control board is just the latest example of what many exasperated residents describe as Shasta County’s descent into a political sideshow. Laurel Rosenhall, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exasperated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exasperated was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near exasperated

Cite this Entry

“Exasperated.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exasperated. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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