: affected with, marked by, or causing trouble or vexation: such as
: 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
: 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

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 Rocking all-black and a bandana to cover his nose and mouth, Abel displays the same vexed anger as his controversial Tedros character from HBO’s The Idol, which had the plug pulled after one season. Michael Saponara, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2024 One difference is that the political climate is more vexed. Don Lee, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2023 As clutches laid by those snakes failed to contain any crimson hatchlings, vexed breeders agreed that they’d been conned. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 The lead plaintiff of the suit is March and Ash, the retail arm of a California cannabis company, and offers a window into the vexed state of the legal weed business. Ezra Marcus, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2024 This is not so much a vexed issue of cultural appropriation as a more straightforward one of comic incongruity. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 30 Nov. 2023 His gambit drew on a famous precedent and a vexed history. Timothy McLaughlin, The Atlantic, 4 Nov. 2023 Yet the vexed history of the men’s team, in a country that also views soccer as a vital expression of male camaraderie, has prompted criticism that the women are not receiving the same treatment that their brethren would. Mark Landler, New York Times, 19 Aug. 2023 Twenty-nine years ago, Dave Grohl, then the drummer for Nirvana, lost his singer, the band’s brilliant and vexed leader, Kurt Cobain. Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, 30 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vexed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near vexed

Cite this Entry

“Vexed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vexed. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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