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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce vex (audio)

Dictionary definition of vex

To cause annoyance, frustration, or agitation to someone.
"They tried to vex him with a barrage of difficult questions during the debate."

Detailed meaning of vex

When someone vexes another person, they deliberately or unintentionally provoke feelings of irritation, disturbance, or exasperation. It involves creating a sense of discomfort or distress through words, actions, or circumstances. Vexing someone may involve actions such as teasing, provoking, or antagonizing, as well as situations that present challenges, obstacles, or complications. The aim of vexing is often to test someone's patience, resilience, or composure. This verb can be used to describe a wide range of interactions or situations that elicit negative emotions or a sense of being bothered. It is important to exercise empathy and understanding to minimize vexing behaviors and promote harmonious relationships.

Example sentences containing vex

1. The unanswered question continued to vex him throughout the day.
2. The malfunctioning printer would vex the office workers with constant paper jams.
3. The loud noise outside began to vex her concentration.
4. The difficult puzzle was designed to vex even the most seasoned players.
5. It would vex him to see his hard work go unnoticed.
6. The constant interruptions during the meeting began to vex everyone in attendance.

History and etymology of vex

The verb 'vex' traces its etymology back to Latin and Old French. It originated from the Latin word 'vexare,' which means 'to shake' or 'to disturb.' In Old French, it evolved into 'vexer,' which retained the sense of causing annoyance or agitation to someone. In English, 'vex' has preserved this meaning and is used to describe the act of causing frustration, irritation, or disturbance to an individual. Its etymology highlights the idea of shaking or disturbing someone's peace or equanimity, emphasizing the disruptive and bothersome nature of the action that 'vex' describes.

Quiz: Find the meaning of vex

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Further usage examples of vex

1. The persistent itch on his arm would vex him until he scratched it.
2. The contradictory instructions on the packaging only served to vex the confused customers.
3. The complex math problem would vex the students, requiring them to think deeply.
4. The relentless rain would vex the campers, dampening their spirits.
5. The arrogant attitude of his coworker would consistently vex him.
6. The slow internet connection would vex him every time he tried to stream a video.
7. The misbehaving child would vex his parents with tantrums and disobedience.
8. The unresolved conflict between the two friends would continue to vex their relationship.
9. The persistent noise from the construction site would vex the neighboring residents.
10. The constant delays and cancellations would vex the weary travelers.
11. The hidden fees in the fine print would vex the unsuspecting customers.
12. The malfunctioning car alarm would vex the entire neighborhood with its loud blaring.
13. The high-pitched squeak of the violin would vex the sensitive ears of some listeners.
14. The political scandal would vex the public, eroding trust in the government.



annoy, please, delight, soothe


Frustration and Exasperation, Hurdles and Setbacks, Sorrow and Strife, Embarrassment and Discomfort, Middle School 2, Anger and Hatred

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