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asperity

[uh-sper-i-tee] /əˈspɛr ɪ ti/
noun, plural asperities.
1.
harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony:
The cause of her anger did not warrant such asperity.
2.
hardship; difficulty; rigor:
the asperities of polar weather.
3.
roughness of surface; unevenness.
4.
something rough or harsh.
Origin
late Middle English
1200-1250
1200-50; late Middle English asperite (< Anglo-French) < Latin asperitās, equivalent to asper rough + -itās -ity; replacing Middle English asprete < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin
Synonyms
1. acerbity, bitterness, astringency.
Antonyms
1. affability, cheerfulness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for asperity
  • To be chic was to show an interest in the asperity of war.
  • To criticism he could respond with asperity or angry chilliness.
  • When next he spoke it was with a clipped asperity that belied the desperate pathos of what he told me.
  • The earthquake rupture usually begins at an asperity.
  • The height of the asperity should be estimated or measured.
British Dictionary definitions for asperity

asperity

/æˈspɛrɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
roughness or sharpness of temper
2.
roughness or harshness of a surface, sound, taste, etc
3.
a condition hard to endure; affliction
4.
(physics) the elastically compressed region of contact between two surfaces caused by the normal force
Word Origin
C16: from Latin asperitās, from asper rough
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for asperity
n.

c.1200, asprete "hardship, harshness of feelings," a figurative use, from Old French asperité "difficulty, painful situation, harsh treatment" (12c., Modern French âpreté), from Latin asperitatem (nominative asperitas) "roughness," from asper "rough, harsh," of unknown origin; in Latin used also of sour wine, bad weather, and hard times. Figurative meaning "harshness of feeling" attested from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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