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

So your frustration is understandable, but your options may be limited. Liz Weston, latimes.com, "When family balks at paying their fair share," 16 June 2019 That frustration is, in part, born of her sweeping success. Joanne Kaufman, WSJ, "Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager Wants to Hit More High Notes," 14 June 2019 The Bruins were down 2-0; the frustration was palpable and growing. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "In the wake of a devastating Bruins loss, some perspective from the Greatest Generation," 13 June 2019 Stephen Curry immediately slammed the ball to the court in frustration as the training staff came out to check on Thompson. Marc Stein, New York Times, "How the Raptors Won Their First N.B.A. Championship," 13 June 2019 There was speculation Butler's frustration with this case may have been part of the reason why. CBS News, "Etan Patz case: 1979 disappearance of NYC boy continues to haunt investigators," 8 June 2019 The frustration is showing, not just on the part of Bradley but others as well, but Lovullo doesn't mind that. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley gets hit again and Adam Jones leaves game early," 4 June 2019 Brent Renner, who farms with his father in northern Iowa, said while there’s strong support for Trump in their area, frustration is growing. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s ‘great patriot’ farmers follow him into a trade war," 20 May 2019 My biggest frustration with the 2016 election was that 43 percent of eligible voters didn't vote. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "Valerie Jarrett on First Meeting the Obamas, Voter Suppression, and Beto O’Rourke," 18 Mar. 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

20 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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