vex

verb
\ ˈveks \
vexed also vext\ ˈvekst \; vexing

Definition of vex

transitive verb

1a : to bring trouble, distress, or agitation to the restaurant is vexed by slow service
b : to bring physical distress to a headache vexed him all morning
c : to irritate or annoy by petty provocations : harass vexed by the children
d : puzzle, baffle a problem to vex the keenest wit
2 : to shake or toss about

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Choose the Right Synonym for vex

annoy, vex, irk, bother mean to upset a person's composure. annoy implies a wearing on the nerves by persistent petty unpleasantness. their constant complaining annoys us vex implies greater provocation and stronger disturbance and usually connotes anger but sometimes perplexity or anxiety. vexed by her son's failure to clean his room irk stresses difficulty in enduring and the resulting weariness or impatience of spirit. careless waste irks the boss bother suggests interference with comfort or peace of mind. don't bother me while I'm reading

Examples of vex in a Sentence

This problem has vexed researchers for years. We were vexed by the delay.

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier landings have been vexed by a lack of steady communications due to the movement of the satellites around Mars. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Drones are amazing and cool and powerful, but traditionally they can be thwarted by an impenetrable obstacle that has vexed drone creators and pilots for years: doors. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Inspired by Wasps, This Micro-Drone Lifts 40 Times its Weight," 25 Oct. 2018 Those acquisitions were geared toward lifting the company’s profit margins and insulating its sales from the type of commodity-market downdraft now vexing the U.S. meat sector. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Tyson Foods to Acquire Keystone Foods in $2.16 Billion Deal," 20 Aug. 2018 Russia, however, is far from the lone issue vexing Trump’s legal operation. Robert Costa, Washington Post, "Trump legal team seeks to add star GOP attorney Theodore B. Olson," 20 Mar. 2018 The question of who hired the firm has vexed Facebook employees. Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, "Facebook’s Zuckerberg Says He Has No Plans to Step Down as Chairman," 20 Nov. 2018 The fight against Boko Haram has particularly vexed the president. New York Times, "A Homecoming for Nigerians Who Fled Militants. All That’s Missing Is the ‘Home.’," 10 July 2018 The nearby public school has a perennially failing record that continues to vex the Cleveland Metropolitan School District despite numerous staff changes, policy adjustments and the help of consultants. Leila Atassi, cleveland.com, "King Korper might fail second grade; a long night of parent-teacher conferences: A Greater Cleveland," 29 Jan. 2018 There is no joy in pointing out that common sense says that Mickelson, vexed by another disheartening result at the U.S. Open, finally let the game get to him. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "What Was Phil Mickelson Thinking?," 16 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vex

Middle English, from Anglo-French vexer, from Latin vexare to agitate, harry; probably akin to Latin vehere to convey — more at way

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Dictionary Entries near vex

vetturino

veuve

Vevey

vex

vexation

vexatious

vexed

Statistics for vex

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vex

The first known use of vex was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for vex

vex

verb

English Language Learners Definition of vex

: to annoy or worry (someone)

vex

verb
\ ˈveks \
vexed; vexing

Kids Definition of vex

1 : to bring trouble, distress, or worry to “It is an excellent plan to have some place where we can go to be quiet, when things vex or grieve us.”— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
2 : to annoy by small irritations Flies vexed the cows.

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More from Merriam-Webster on vex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vex

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vex

Spanish Central: Translation of vex

Nglish: Translation of vex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vex for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vex

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