frustrate

verb
frus·​trate | \ ˈfrə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce frustrate (audio) \
frustrated; frustrating

Definition of frustrate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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.
2a(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

frustrate

adjective

Definition of frustrate (Entry 2 of 2)

: characterized by frustration

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Synonyms & Antonyms for frustrate

Synonyms: Verb

baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, thwart

Antonyms: Verb

advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote

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Choose the Right Synonym for frustrate

Verb

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

Examples of frustrate in a Sentence

Verb

It frustrated him to miss so many games because of injuries. We've been frustrated by bureaucratic delays. Bureaucratic delays have frustrated our efforts to resolve this problem. The lack of investors has frustrated them in their efforts to expand the company.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The latter stunt doesn’t work, and this only frustrates Krystal further. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Tragicomedy of the American Dream," 16 Sep. 2019 The conceit of Maura's death would have made a poignant denouement, but the musical element completely frustrates the storytelling. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Transparent: Musicale Finale': TV Review," 16 Sep. 2019 But being cagey about price frustrates potential buyers, said Marcus Sheridan, founder of Sales Lion, one of the most successful digital sales and marketing agencies in the United States. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland.com, "Why companies should list their prices online: Content Marketing World," 5 Sep. 2019 Making sure these communities are cared for, protected and supported after an attack frustrates that goal. Joe Sexton, ProPublica, "He Spent Years Infiltrating White Supremacist Groups. Here’s What He Has to Say About What’s Going on Now.," 30 Aug. 2019 This has inflicted significant hardship and serious harm on these veterans and has frustrated the intent of the Congress that their Federal student loan debt be discharged. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "Trump signs order to expedite forgiving student loan debt for disabled veterans," 21 Aug. 2019 Whitaker came out in his trademark style, confusing Chavez and frustrating the Mexican champion. CBS News, "Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker, former boxing world champ, fatally struck by car in Virginia," 15 July 2019 Halep also annoys and frustrates players like Williams, who leads with her serve. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "The Underdog Standing Between Serena Williams and History," 12 July 2019 American presidents have for decades sought a nuclear deal with North Korea only to be frustrated at every turn. Brian Bennett, Time, "The Downsides to President Trump's 'Dare Me' Doctrine," 10 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of frustrate

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frustrate

Verb and Adjective

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

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Statistics for frustrate

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frustrate

The first known use of frustrate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for frustrate

frustrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of frustrate

: 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

verb
frus·​trate | \ ˈfrə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce frustrate (audio) \
frustrated; frustrating

Kids Definition of frustrate

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

frustrate

transitive verb
frus·​trate | \ ˈfrəs-ˌtrāt How to pronounce frustrate (audio) \
frustrated; frustrating

Medical Definition of frustrate

: to induce feelings of frustration in

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frustrate

transitive verb
frus·​trate | \ ˈfrəs-ˌtrāt How to pronounce frustrate (audio) \
frustrated; frustrating

Legal Definition of frustrate

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

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Comments on frustrate

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