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Word of the Day
Friday, January 09, 2004

Definitions for asperity

  1. Roughness of surface; unevenness.
  2. Roughness or harshness of sound; a quality that grates upon the ear.
  3. Roughness of manner; severity; harshness.

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Citations for asperity
The separation wave probes all the rocks in its path, moving forward until it hits another asperity or fault bend, whereupon it abruptly stops. Sandra Blakeslee, New York Times
Many years later, when I was sketching in Rome, a grim-looking Englishwoman came up to me and said with some asperity, "I see you are painting MY view." Lord Berners, A Distant Prospect
Origin of asperity
late Middle English
1200-1250
Asperity comes from Latin asperitas, from asper, "rough." It is related to exasperate, "to irritate in a high degree," from ex- (here used intensively) + asperatus, past participle of asperare, "to roughen," from asper.
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