See also: VEX



From Middle English vexen, from Old French vexer, from Latin vēxāre (disturb, agitate, annoy). Displaced native Middle English grillen (to vex, annoy) from Old English grillan. Doublet of quake.


  • enPR: vĕks, IPA(key): /vɛks/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛks


vex (third-person singular simple present vexes, present participle vexing, simple past and past participle vexed or (archaic) vext)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To trouble aggressively, to harass.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts XII:
      In that tyme Herode the kynge layed hondes on certayne of the congregacion, to vexe them.
  2. (transitive) To annoy, irritate.
    Billy's professor was vexed by his continued failure to improve his grades.
  3. (transitive) To cause (mental) suffering to; to distress.
  4. (transitive, rare) To twist, to weave.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      some English wool, vexed in a Belgian loom
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To be irritated; to fret.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
  6. (transitive) To toss back and forth; to agitate; to disquiet.
    • (Can we date this quote by Alexander Pope and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      White curl the waves, and the vexed ocean roars.



Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


vex (plural vexes)

  1. (Scotland, obsolete) A trouble.


  • vex” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.