frustration

noun
frus·​tra·​tion | \ (ˌ)frə-ˈstrā-shən How to pronounce frustration (audio) \

Definition of frustration

1 : the act of frustrating the frustration of creative instinct is a notorious evil of the machine ageThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
2a : the state or an instance of being frustrated These bureaucratic delays have been causing us a lot of frustration.
b : a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs loneliness and frustration; those are two constant themes in American literature— Malcolm Cowley
3 : something that frustrates the government's frustrations with seemingly insoluble problems

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Examples of frustration in a Sentence

He shook his head in frustration. These bureaucratic delays have been causing us a lot of frustration. These delays have proven to be a major frustration. We've been experiencing a lot of frustrations. He was angry about the frustration of his plans.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Despite their anger and frustration, there’s also a sense of victory and catharsis. Caitlin Wolper, Teen Vogue, "Camp Cope on Supporting Other Women in Music and Calling Out Festival Lineups," 2 May 2019 Many Britons feel a mix of frustration, fascination and shame at the ongoing political chaos. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament’s flaws," 14 Apr. 2019 You're really tuned in to the bumps, the joys, the frustrations, the happy days, the miserable days. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "The One Thing You Can Do to Make More Quality Time With Your Partner, According to an Expert," 14 Feb. 2019 There is frustration, certainly, with a player not disclosing such an injury, especially at the expense of the team. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers Johnny Barbato, hurt all season, finally speaks up," 23 June 2018 If someone lashes out in frustration, express empathy for what is genuine distress, and ask for further clarification. Steven P. Dinkin, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A wedding gift from a teenage photographer," 17 June 2018 Malu and another friend, Mori Suesue, listened to Harris’ frustration over his lack of playing time and encouraged him to stay at Alabama. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Top recruit Najee Harris eagerly awaits bigger role at Alabama," 4 July 2018 At a recent dinner celebrating the launch of Roam in Los Angeles, several women in attendance expressed frustration that most dispensaries and cannabis products feel so utterly masculine. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "The New Cannabis Companies Want to Give You a “Wellness Experience”," 20 Apr. 2019 Instead of voicing frustration over Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Trump instead complained about former House Speaker Paul Ryan. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Beyond the Shutdown: The Trump-Pelosi Dynamic Defines Washington," 25 Jan. 2019

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

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for frustration

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frustration

The first known use of frustration was circa 1555

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More Definitions for frustration

frustration

noun

English Language Learners Definition of frustration

: a feeling of anger or annoyance caused by being unable to do something : the state of being frustrated
: something that causes feelings of anger and annoyance
: the fact of being prevented from succeeding or doing something

frustration

noun
frus·​tra·​tion | \ ˌfrə-ˈstrā-shən How to pronounce frustration (audio) \

Kids Definition of frustration

frustration

noun
frus·​tra·​tion | \ (ˌ)frəs-ˈtrā-shən How to pronounce frustration (audio) \

Medical Definition of frustration

1 : a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs
2 : something that frustrates

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frustration

noun
frus·​tra·​tion | \ ˌfrəs-ˈtrā-shən How to pronounce frustration (audio) \

Legal Definition of frustration

1a : the act of frustrating
b : the state or an instance of being frustrated
c : something that frustrates
2 : a common-law doctrine of contract law: parties to a contract may be excused from performance even though performance is still possible if the reason for making the contract is partially or completely frustrated by a fortuitous event or by circumstances which are not the fault of either party

called also frustration of purpose, frustration of the venture

— compare cause sense 4, force majeure clause, impossibility, impracticability

Note: In order for frustration to be used as a successful defense to a breach of contract claim, the reason for making the contract must have been contemplated or recognized by both the contracting parties even though it was not expressed in the contract.

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Comments on frustration

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