1

frustrate

verb frus·trate \ ˈfrə-ˌstrāt \
Updated on: 13 Dec 2017

Definition of frustrate

frustrated; frustrating
transitive verb
1 a : to balk or defeat in an endeavor
  • frustrated her opponents by her ball-handling
b : to induce feelings of discouragement in
  • Not being able to find a job frustrated him.
2 a (1) : to make ineffectual : bring to nothing
  • Illness frustrated his plans for college.
(2) : impede, obstruct
  • The project was frustrated by government regulations.
b : to make invalid or of no effect

Examples of frustrate in a Sentence

  1. It frustrated him to miss so many games because of injuries.

  2. We've been frustrated by bureaucratic delays.

  3. Bureaucratic delays have frustrated our efforts to resolve this problem.

  4. The lack of investors has frustrated them in their efforts to expand the company.

Recent Examples of frustrate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frustrate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of frustrate

Middle English, from Latin frustratus, past participle of frustrare to deceive, frustrate, from frustra in error, in vain

Synonym Discussion of frustrate

frustrate, thwart, foil, baffle, balk mean to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal. frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent.
    • frustrated attempts at government reform
thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing.
    • the army thwarted his attempt at a coup
foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort.
    • foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her
baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling.
    • baffled by the maze of rules and regulations
balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances.
    • officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime

2

frustrate

adjective

Definition of frustrate

: characterized by frustration

Origin and Etymology of frustrate


FRUSTRATE Defined for English Language Learners

frustrate

verb

Definition of frustrate for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone) to feel angry, discouraged, or upset because of not being able to do something

  • : to prevent (efforts, plans, etc.) from succeeding : to keep (someone) from doing something


FRUSTRATE Defined for Kids

frustrate

verb frus·trate \ ˈfrə-ˌstrāt \

Definition of frustrate for Students

frustrated; frustrating
1 : to cause to feel angry or discouraged
  • The delays frustrated passengers.
2 : to prevent from succeeding
  • Police frustrated the robbery.
3 : 1defeat 2
  • The bad weather frustrated their plans for the beach.

Medical Dictionary

frustrate

transitive verb frus·trate \ ˈfrəs-ˌtrāt \

medical Definition of frustrate

frustrated; frustrating
: to induce feelings of frustration in

Law Dictionary

frustrate

transitive verb frus·trate \ ˈfrəs-ˌtrāt \

legal Definition of frustrate

frustrated; frustrating
: to make invalid or ineffectual : defeat
  • the remedial purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act should not be frustrated by rigid technical standards
  • Palmer v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 559 A.2d 340 (1989)


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