Definition of


  1. (verb, emotion) cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
    It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves
  2. (verb, emotion) disturb the peace of mind of; afflict with mental agitation or distress
  3. (verb, contact) change the arrangement or position of
  4. (verb, communication) subject to prolonged examination, discussion, or deliberation
  5. (verb, cognition) be a mystery or bewildering to
    Got me--I don't know the answer!
    a vexing problem
    This question really stuck me

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Vex

  1. early 15c., from M.Fr. vexer, from L. vexare "to attack, harass, trouble," from vexus, collateral form of vectus, pp. of vehere "to draw, carry" (see vehicle). more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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