vex·​a·​tious | \ vek-ˈsā-shəs How to pronounce vexatious (audio) \

Definition of vexatious

1a : causing vexation : distressing vexatious delays
b : intended to harass a vexatious lawsuit
2 : full of disorder or stress : troubled a vexatious period in her life

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Other Words from vexatious

vexatiously adverb
vexatiousness noun

Examples of vexatious in a Sentence

those vexatious phone calls from telemarketers during the dinner hour
Recent Examples on the Web Frontiers have long been a vexatious subject around here. Salman Rushdie, The New Yorker, "The Old Man in the Piazza," 16 Nov. 2020 The either/or requirement makes interpreting the results feel like one of those vexatious story problems from junior high math. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Making sense of the 3/5th vs. majority of votes requirement for the graduated tax amendment," 9 Oct. 2020 The legal profession doesn’t serve the public’s best interest by engaging in vexatious litigation when our economy is most vulnerable. WSJ, "Don’t Let Lawsuits Compound Virus Damage," 14 May 2020 Things fell into place for Hughes' vexatious defense, specifically against Taft standout freshman forward Rayvon Griffith, who was met with formidable double teams in the paint throughout the night, resulting in a season-low three points. Shelby Dermer,, "Hughes basketball takes control of Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference with win over Taft," 24 Jan. 2020 His idea of corporate good governance left no place for vexatious Quakers: Friends in New Amsterdam were liable to expulsion, imprisonment, and whipping. Michael Knox Beran, National Review, "Richard Brookhiser’s Give Me Liberty: A Manual for Patriots," 7 Nov. 2019 Rail startups also accuse various national champions of hogging the best rail slots, of engaging in predatory pricing and of pursuing vexatious litigation against them to push them out of the market. The Economist, "European state rail firms face scrappy new competitors," 28 June 2018 However, Shivers has been known to the state of California as a vexatious litigant since 2008. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "'NCIS' actress Pauley Perrette threatens the media: 'I will have you arrested'," 29 May 2018 However, one of our most common and vexatious emotional triggers is interruptions, and technology is a primary culprit in this regard. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Turn interruptions into respites, not outrage," 5 Jan. 2018

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

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of vexatious was in 1534

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Cite this Entry

“Vexatious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for vexatious


vex·​a·​tious | \ vek-ˈsā-shəs How to pronounce vexatious (audio) \

Legal Definition of vexatious

: lacking a sufficient ground and serving only to annoy or harass when viewed objectively disciplined the attorney for engaging in vexatious litigation

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