Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or climate.
  • noun Severity; rigor.
  • noun A slight projection from a surface; a point or bump.
  • noun Harshness of manner; ill temper or irritability.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Roughness of surface; unevenness: opposed to smoothness.
  • noun Roughness of sound; harshness of pronunciation.
  • noun Harshness of taste; sourness.
  • noun Roughness or ruggedness of temper; crabbedness; bitterness; severity: as, to chide one with asperity; “asperity of character,” Landor.
  • noun Disagreeableness; unpleasantness; difficulty: as, “the acclivities and asperities of duty,” Barrow, Sermons, III. xlii.
  • noun Synonyms Acrimony, Harshness, etc. See acrimony.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Roughness of surface; unevenness; -- opposed to smoothness.
  • noun Roughness or harshness of sound; that quality which grates upon the ear; raucity.
  • noun Roughness to the taste; sourness; tartness.
  • noun Moral roughness; roughness of manner; severity; crabbedness; harshness; -- opposed to mildness.
  • noun Sharpness; disagreeableness; difficulty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Roughness as of stone or weather.
  • noun Harshness, as of temper.
  • noun Something that is harsh and difficult to endure.
  • noun geology A part of a geological fault line that does not move.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun harshness of manner
  • noun something hard to endure

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English asperite, from Old French asprete, from Latin asperitās, from asper, rough.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French asprete, from Latin asperitatem, from asper ("rough").

Examples

Comments

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  • "Is it so important that you should be sure?" she finally questioned.

    "Not to you, naturally," he returned with involuntary asperity.

    - Edith Wharton, The Reef

    June 20, 2008