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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for frustrate

Synonyms: Verb

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

Antonyms: Verb

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Raiders produced back-to-back three-run innings to wipe out an early deficit and that was enough as Tech pitcher Caleb Killian plugged through 5.1 innings well enough to keep the Cards frustrated on the way to a 10-4 victory. Randy Rosetta, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball one defeat from NCAA elimination after Texas Tech loss," 3 June 2018 Systrom was also frustrated with a recent Facebook change to how posts are shared between the two apps. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook’s recent ‘bear hug’ of Instagram frustrated its independent founders, leading to their exit," 25 Sep. 2018 As any woman who has tried and failed to conceive can attest, a number of unseen factors can frustrate reproduction. Kim Brooks, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Frontier of Fertility Tests—for Young Women," 1 Nov. 2018 Rescuers including elite Thai navy divers, a U.S. military team and British cave experts have been frustrated by incessant rain that has flooded the cave and made locating the boys more difficult. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Tassanee Vejpongsa, chicagotribune.com, "Neighbors share songs, prayers as search continues for teens missing in cave in Thailand," 30 June 2018 In March, Xi oversaw the establishment of a Ministry of Veterans Affairs to address longstanding grievances, but veterans have been frustrated by the lack of substantial change. Gerry Shih, The Seattle Times, "Large army veteran protests in China pose challenge for Xi," 26 June 2018 The meeting — three weeks before a statewide teacher activism movement heightened public awareness of low teacher pay — was a flash point for a community that has long been frustrated over the district's direction. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "'We're asking for help': State will take over dysfunctional Murphy school district," 25 June 2018 The president’s approach has irritated some of Mr. Trump’s own advisers, including Mr. Mnuchin, who has been frustrated by the process of the China talks, according to an official familiar with his thinking. New York Times, "Trump’s Trade War Spooks Markets as White House Waits for China to Blink," 19 June 2018 Beijing, an economic powerhouse, has been frustrated with North Korea’s nuclear development and lack of coordination on foreign affairs in recent years. Don Lee, latimes.com, "With latest China visit, North Korea's Kim can again play statesman and reassure Beijing he's an ally," 19 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frustrate

Statistics for frustrate

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frustrate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on frustrate

What made you want to look up frustrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!