\ˈvekst \

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

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 Researchers have long been puzzled by the disease and vexed by how long it’s taking to unravel its mysteries. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Alzheimer’s cure is being pursued with the help of an online game," 6 May 2018 Three years after a large influx of migrants and asylum-seekers, the vexed issue of migration has become a popular populist issue and threatens to topple the long reign of Europe’s most prominent leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Steven Erlanger, The Seattle Times, "Europe struggles with migrant crisis as leaders toughen stances," 25 June 2018 For years, Hamas’ tight grip on Gaza vexed Mideast mediators. Washington Post, "Trump’s Mideast team gets close-up view of peace obstacles," 21 June 2018 Within the complex and often perplexing American immigration system, immigrants covered by T.P.S. fall into an especially vexed category. Vivian Yee, Liz Robbins And Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, "From Offices to Disney World, Employers Brace for the Loss of an Immigrant Work Force," 9 Jan. 2018 Mickelson paused, then gave chase like a vexed 30-handicapper. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "What Was Phil Mickelson Thinking?," 16 June 2018 Narration from a previous incarnation of the attraction has also been reinstated, perhaps to assuage vexed traditionalists. Lorraine Ali,, "About Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean bride auction redo and why people hate it and love it," 14 June 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

8 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for vexed

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

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English Language Learners Definition of vexed

: difficult and frustrating to deal with

: annoyed or worried

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Comments on vexed

What made you want to look up vexed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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