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 Over the years, Abraham has shared his confusion and frustration with the festivals and celebrations for his daughter. Rosa Sanchez, Rolling Stone, "Who Owns Selena’s Legacy?," 30 Apr. 2021 Objects are so fashioned on trends and go out of style so quickly, that a feeling of frustration—even contempt—appears against the producers that decided to create objects with such a short life expectancy. Scott Suchman, Popular Mechanics, "The Unlikely Story of the World’s First Tactical Chair," 29 Apr. 2021 This supply crunch and spiking prices make those low rates a source of frustration for the many families for whom homeownership is still unattainable. NBC News, "The Fed says it won't hike rates yet — but as the economy heats up, borrowers fear the clock is ticking," 28 Apr. 2021 The energy that kept him going was borne of frustration at how artists of his community have been tokenized and sidelined in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times, "‘Something to prove’: In ‘Mortal Kombat,’ Lewis Tan aims for more than movie stardom," 24 Apr. 2021 Vaccine supplies proved insufficient or unpredictable, websites crashed and phone lines got jammed, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many people. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Analysis: Slow, steady best way to vaccinate," 22 Mar. 2021 Vaccine supplies proved insufficient or unpredictable, websites crashed and phone lines became jammed, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many people. Carla K. Johnson And Nicky Forster, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida among states where rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout backfired, analysis finds," 21 Mar. 2021 Vaccine supplies proved insufficient or unpredictable, websites crashed and phone lines became jammed, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many people. Carla K. Johnson And Nicky Forster, chicagotribune.com, "States that raced to open up COVID-19 vaccines to more people lag behind others that waited, study shows," 21 Mar. 2021 The explanation may be that the rapid expansion of eligibility caused a surge in demand too big for some states to handle, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many people. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "Death, critical illness in Denmark draw more scrutiny for AstraZeneca vaccine: COVID-19 live updates," 21 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for frustration

Time Traveler

The first known use of frustration was circa 1555

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Statistics for frustration

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frustration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frustration. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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.

Comments on frustration

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