frus·​trat·​ing | \ ˈfrə-ˌstrā-tiŋ How to pronounce frustrating (audio) \

Definition of frustrating

: causing feelings of anger and annoyance : tending to produce or characterized by frustration a frustrating delay a very frustrating experience Mischel concludes that having the willpower to wait isn't about being stoic. It's about learning techniques that make waiting less frustrating.— Pamela Druckerman

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Other Words from frustrating

frustratingly adverb
a frustratingly slow process The book is sprawling and self-indulgent. Most frustratingly, it is almost entirely devoid of serious military analysis. — Hew Strachan

Examples of frustrating in a Sentence

All these delays have been very frustrating. these daily traffic jams are frustrating

Recent Examples on the Web

That can be frustrating to observers, including journalists, who often wish the work was tidier. Julia O'donoghue,, "What I learned from the Louisiana Legislature," 28 June 2019 The older an organisation is, the more frustrating the experience becomes. Richard Lobo, Quartz India, "Infosys HR chief on the three things Indian offices can do to prepare for millennial workers," 26 June 2019 One issue has proved to be particularly frustrating to the plaintiffs: whether the city of Ferguson is even insured for a class action. Topher Sanders, ProPublica, "A Lawsuit Over Ferguson’s “Debtors Prison” Drags On," 31 May 2019 But those early days, however frustrating, initiated me into the ways of mountain life. National Geographic, "Jane Goodall’s original tale of chimpanzees still astonishes today," 17 Apr. 2019 Such frustrating setbacks did not deter James Allison, a young scientist from the small town of Alice, Texas. Jerome Groopman, The New York Review of Books, "The Body Strikes Back," 21 Mar. 2019 This all has to happen with around zero lag or buffering, or playing the game will be very frustrating. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google announces “Project Stream”—a “test” of game streaming in Chrome," 1 Oct. 2018 The fun — and surprisingly not frustrating — thing is that the movie doesn’t much care that nothing in it makes sense, and is hip to the fact that a lot of people in the audience won’t care either. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ant-Man and The Wasp': What the Critics Are Saying," 27 June 2018 One of reasons Stranger Things 2 was frustrating was that for most of the season, characters were siloed away from each other, pretty inexplicably. Aja Romano, Vox, "Stranger Things season 3 is charming but frustrating. Here’s a spoiler-free review.," 30 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frustrating.' 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 frustrating

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for frustrating

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frustrating

The first known use of frustrating was in 1871

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More Definitions for frustrating



English Language Learners Definition of frustrating

: causing feelings of anger and annoyance


frus·​trat·​ing | \ ˈfrə-ˌstrā-tiŋ\

Kids Definition of frustrating

: causing feelings of disappointment and defeat So the Egypt gang waited and waited and it was all pretty frustrating.— Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game

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Comments on frustrating

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


something desired as essential

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