vex

verb
\ ˈveks How to pronounce vex (audio) \
vexed also vext\ ˈvekst How to pronounce vext (audio) \; 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

This is a question that will vex a logical thinker, for the answer has less to do with reason and more to do with belief. Seth Hettena, The New Republic, "The Obscure Newspaper Fueling the Far-Right in Europe," 17 Sep. 2019 Average Americans may not understand the nuances of the Middle East conflict and what vexes Israelis and Palestinians. Fox News, "Reporter's Notebook: Spat over scrapped 'Squad' members' Israel visit is tricky politics for both sides," 17 Aug. 2019 In fact, housing the homeless — as vexing an issue as that is — is almost easy, compared to helping the homeless stay housed. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Behind the scenes on a yearlong homelessness reporting project," 15 Aug. 2019 Each jurisdiction charges its own rates, which are rising in both places, vexing many residents. Alison Knezevich, baltimoresun.com, "Should the Baltimore water system be overseen by a regional authority?," 29 July 2019 That puzzle has vexed physicists since quantum theory emerged in the 1920s to explain the behavior of atoms and other infinitesimal things. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Twist on ‘survival of the fittest’ could explain how reality emerges from the quantum haze," 12 Sep. 2019 The issue of nuclear waste storage has vexed the industry for decades. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Onofre owners, contractor and regulators face new lawsuit over fuel storage plan," 30 Aug. 2019 That inequity has been particularly vexing for casinos in Western New York, where the Seneca tribe has been in a protracted legal dispute with the state and has refused to pay any revenue for more than two years. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "Why a $1.2 Billion Gambling Mecca Has Fallen on Hard Times," 16 Aug. 2019 Problems at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services have vexed governors for decades. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: More trouble at DCFS | An Illinois senator is indicted | Pro-pot lawmakers see green," 2 Aug. 2019

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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Learn More about vex

Dictionary Entries near vex

vetturino

veuve

Vevey

vex

vexation

vexatious

vexed

Statistics for vex

Last Updated

8 Oct 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

old-fashioned : to annoy or worry (someone)

vex

verb
\ ˈveks How to pronounce vex (audio) \
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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