\ 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 Golden State appeared vexed as Houston zipped the ball around the perimeter and hoisted 3-pointer after 3-pointer. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors have no answer for Rockets’ small ball in blowout loss," 20 Feb. 2020 Battling over the identity of a college group is vexing, Pickett said. Chris Quintana, USA TODAY, "Nationalist 'antics' or the future of the GOP? College Republicans are at war," 17 Jan. 2020 Now, my complaint here isn’t just that people are using words incorrectly, though that does vex me. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Republicans Aren’t the Only Ones Too Quick to Cry ‘Coup!’," 6 Mar. 2020 Giuliani has long vexed Barr and the Justice Department. Matt Zapotosky, Anchorage Daily News, "Barr acknowledges Justice Department has created ‘intake process’ to vet Giuliani’s information on Bidens," 10 Feb. 2020 There was also nobody who vexed him as much as Bryant. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "He Didn’t Know Kobe Bryant. But He Did.," 7 Feb. 2020 No one wants to hear that there's no solution to the problem that vexes them. Sara Chodosh, Popular Science, "Want to get rid of cellulite? There’s only one thing worth trying.," 30 Dec. 2019 The Raiders trusted Kolton Miller enough to leave him on the left side and have Brown play on the right, a position that has vexed them for years. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Five keys for Raiders in Monday night opener against Broncos," 9 Sep. 2019 This apparent paradox has vexed humanity for millennia. Quanta Magazine, "Did the Chicken Come First or Is It Turtles All the Way Down?," 6 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vex

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vex

Last Updated

25 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vex.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for vex


How to pronounce vex (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vex

old-fashioned : to annoy or worry (someone)


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vex

Spanish Central: Translation of vex

Nglish: Translation of vex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vex for Arabic Speakers

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