\ ˈveks How to pronounce vex (audio) \
vexed also vext\ ˈvekst How to pronounce vex (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

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 While most economists tend to acknowledge the same causes of inflation, many disagree which elements are most driving the price increases that continue to vex American consumers. NBC News, 16 Feb. 2022 A down year for potential franchise passers would likely vex most teams that landed the No. 1 pick. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2022 The loyalty problem, so evident with the ANAP, soon would vex the ALP, too. David Axe, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 Among the many things that vex him is Matthiessen’s equanimity in the face of his failure to see a snow leopard, the sense that its absence was just as significant as its presence. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 But even with better radar detection, the physics of hypersonic weapons will still vex the defenders. Michael Peck, Forbes, 17 June 2021 In this self-consciously boring approach, Russia would resemble any number of other countries whose political cultures and provocations vex American policymakers, but that are not perceived as nemeses. Michael Kimmage, The New Republic, 9 June 2021 The lane reduction will undoubtedly vex some motorists., 23 Apr. 2021 Brooklyn still has fractional addresses assigned in 1870, and duplicate street names — Washington Street, but also Washington Avenue — still vex the unfamiliar visitor. New York Times, 29 Jan. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Vex.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for vex


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on vex

Nglish: Translation of vex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vex for Arabic Speakers


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