frus·​trat·​ing | \ˈfrə-ˌstrā-tiŋ \

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

Finding the right drugs can take a frustrating amount of experimentation, but trying to land on the right treatment plan is worth it. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Bipolar Disorder Treatments You Should Know About," 30 Nov. 2018 Republicans want to resolve mistakes that are hurting retailers and restaurants making renovations, and frustrating multinational corporations seeking refunds from the IRS. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "House Republicans Work Against the Clock on Tax Bill," 30 Nov. 2018 Of course, flying is a notoriously frustrating process, but so is going to the DMV or registering for internet service. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why there are so many viral confrontations on airplanes," 2 Nov. 2018 Each sign boasts an individual approach to life, complete with dynamic strengths and frustrating weaknesses. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Each Zodiac Sign's Unique Personality Traits, Explained by an Astrologer," 28 Oct. 2018 There are few things more frustrating than working on a project and coming up one screw short of getting the job done. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Amazon's New Tool Helps You Find the Right Screw," 20 July 2018 The film, also written by Feste, is essentially the tale of one woman and the terrible, frustrating men in her life. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Road movie ‘Boundaries’ travels well-worn path," 6 July 2018 That lack of specificity is both ridiculous and frustrating. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on with Microsoft's Surface Pro 6: The new tablet is easy to use, confusing to buy," 3 Oct. 2018 Like trying to get your bearings in rough waters, the process can feel futile and frustrating. Casey Gueren, SELF, "We Asked Therapists How to Feel a Little Bit Better This Week. Here are Their Self-Care Tips," 3 Oct. 2018

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

4 Dec 2018

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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