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

Antonyms: Verb

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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 These verdant nooks are where Dolbeer’s disciples use an array of sophisticated hardware to frighten, frustrate, and sometimes slaughter their winged adversaries, all in the name of protecting millions of flyers who are oblivious to the struggle. Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! The Midair Collisions Menacing Air Travel," 24 Jan. 2020 But their performance during the skirmish with al-Shabab reportedly frustrated American officials. TheWeek, "Cory Booker used his cubby at the impeachment trial for an incredibly corny joke," 22 Jan. 2020 The spat started last year when France, frustrated at the slow pace of international discussions on taxing tech giants, implemented a 3% tax on digital revenue from tech companies with more than €750 million ($832 million) in annual global sales. Sam Schechner, WSJ, "France’s Macron Pauses Tech Tax After U.S. Pressure," 21 Jan. 2020 The Buckeyes' star big man held out his hands, shaking his head, frustrated. Jon Blau, Indianapolis Star, "IU erases memory of Northwestern game; knocks off No. 11 Ohio State at home," 11 Jan. 2020 The decision to endorse in contested Republican races frustrated some both inside and outside the room. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio Republican Party snubs Rep. Candice Keller, former U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt," 10 Jan. 2020 Across the country, the G.O.P. has maneuvered tirelessly to restrict, impede, dilute, and otherwise frustrate democratic threats to their control. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "Election Bias," 6 Jan. 2020 Partly as a result, Iran’s economy is collapsing and the population is exhausted and frustrated, says Gerard Araud, a former French ambassador to Washington and the U.N. John Walcott, Time, "Iran Has Vowed Revenge Against the U.S. for Killing Qasem Soleimani. Here's What May Happen Next," 4 Jan. 2020 The picture that emerges is of a system of staggering complexity, riddled with obstacles and cracks, that prioritizes babies over mothers, thwarts women at every turn, frustrates doctors and midwives, and incentivizes substandard care. Nina Martin, ProPublica, "The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas," 8 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for frustrate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for frustrate

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Frustrate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frustrate. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for frustrate

frustrate

verb
How to pronounce frustrate (audio)

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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