9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[v. ig-zas-puh-reyt; adj. ig-zas-per-it] /v. ɪgˈzæs pəˌreɪt; adj. ɪgˈzæs pər ɪt/
verb (used with object), exasperated, exasperating.
to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely:
He was exasperated by the senseless delays.
Archaic. to increase the intensity or violence of (disease, pain, feelings, etc.).
Botany. rough; covered with hard, projecting points, as a leaf.
Origin of exasperate
1525-35; < Latin exasperātus (past participle of exasperāre to make rough, provoke), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + asper harsh, rough + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
exasperatedly, adverb
exasperater, noun
exasperatingly, adverb
unexasperated, adjective
unexasperating, adjective
Can be confused
exacerbate, exasperate.
1. incense, anger, vex, inflame, infuriate. See irritate. 2. exacerbate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exasperating
  • The headaches had finally become too exasperating to bear.
  • There is simply a great disappointment, and an exasperating sense of defeat.
  • The thought may have been prompted by jaw-ache after more than seven years of often exasperating negotiations.
  • They are not in the majority, but they are exasperating.
  • The lack of any real information is indeed almost as exasperating as the lack of capping.
  • Though the unabated flow of attacks from neo-cons and free-market ayatollahs are exasperating.
  • Bid-offer spreads in this market must be the widest in the world, which makes the whole tiresome business even more exasperating.
  • From the prosecution's point of view, the outcome of the trial is exasperating.
  • Some listeners find it dramatically static and exasperating.
  • It is by turns aloof and affectionate, serene and savage, endearing and exasperating.
British Dictionary definitions for exasperating


verb (transitive)
to cause great irritation or anger to; infuriate
to cause (an unpleasant feeling, condition, etc) to worsen; aggravate
(botany) having a rough prickly surface because of the presence of hard projecting points
Derived Forms
exasperatedly, adverb
exasperater, noun
exasperating, adjective
exasperatingly, adverb
exasperation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exasperāre to make rough, 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 exasperating



1530s, from Latin exasperatus, past participle of exasperare "roughen, irritate, provoke," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + asper "rough" (see asperity). Related: Exasperated; exasperating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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