Synonym Chooser

How does the verb frustrate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of frustrate are baffle, balk, foil, and thwart. While all these words mean "to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal," frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent.

frustrated attempts at government reform

When is baffle a more appropriate choice than frustrate?

The words baffle and frustrate can be used in similar contexts, but baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling.

baffled by the maze of rules and regulations

When could balk be used to replace frustrate?

In some situations, the words balk and frustrate are roughly equivalent. However, balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances.

officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime

When might foil be a better fit than frustrate?

The words foil and frustrate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort.

foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her

In what contexts can thwart take the place of frustrate?

The meanings of thwart and frustrate largely overlap; however, thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing.

the army thwarted his attempt at a coup

Thesaurus Entries Near frustrate

Cite this Entry

“Frustrate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

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