\ ˈvekst How to pronounce vexed (audio) \

Definition of vexed

: affected with, marked by, or causing trouble or vexation: such as
a : feeling or showing irritation, annoyance, or distress He had a vexed look, as if irritated at having to direct yet another … lost tourist to more celebrated Washington landmarks.— Larry L. King … I plainly perceived him to be extremely vexed at me …— Herman Melville
b : difficult and often frustrating to understand or deal with a vexed question Merchants such as the Polos sought to circumvent the vexed system of coins, with its inevitable confusion and debasement, by trading in gems such as rubies and sapphires and in pearls.— Laurence Bergreen But the coming months—when America will have to vote for or against China in matters of trade, proliferation and human rights—will severely test the White House's ability to manage a perpetually vexed relationship.— Tom Post

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Synonyms for vexed


aggravated, annoyed, bothered, exasperated, galled, irked, irritated, narked [British], peeved, put out, scunnered [chiefly Scottish], teed off

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Examples of vexed in a Sentence

She was feeling somewhat vexed. my dog was clearly vexed with me for having been gone all week, and hardly greeted me when I came home

Recent Examples on the Web

In his notes from the meeting, Suslov seems vexed: Your novel will serve only to benefit our enemies. . . Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 Brexit is a lesson in how quickly a country can degenerate into division and factionalism, and how tenuous are the bonds that hold us together around the vexed issue of national identity. Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 Now, the church is suing the county clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, the latest chapter in a dispute that combines vexed questions about voting, racial prejudice and religious faith. Washington Post, "’Black Lives Matter’ banners cost a church its polling place. Now, it’s suing.," 11 June 2019 Diderot was temperamentally inclined to view people as naturally altruistic, but the vexed question of personal identity troubled him. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘Diderot’ Review: Wherever His Mind Led Him," 15 Feb. 2019 In part because of the vexed politics, states have often taken a lighter approach to promoting density, using carrots rather than sticks. Conor Dougherty And Brad Plumer, New York Times, "A Bold, Divisive Plan to Wean Californians From Cars," 16 Mar. 2018 Poirot himself is vexed to have been used in such a scheme—and concerned about greater mischief to come. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Dusting Off Those Little Gray Cells," 30 Aug. 2018 But on a series of vexed, compromising decisions during the campaign, not so much. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Should Presidents Be ‘Good’ People?," 4 May 2018 During Donald Trump’s second summer in office, the American self-image is vexed and complicated. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Political Harassment Is for the Birds," 6 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for vexed

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for vexed

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

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More Definitions for vexed



English Language Learners Definition of vexed

: difficult and frustrating to deal with
old-fashioned : annoyed or worried

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More from Merriam-Webster on vexed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vexed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vexed

Nglish: Translation of vexed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vexed for Arabic Speakers

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