January 05, 2013
frustrate (verb)
\FRUSS-trayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to prevent from carrying out a purpose2 : to bring to nothing
How do you use it?
The cold rain and a sprained wrist combined to frustrate Evan's plans to go camping over the weekend.
Are you a word wiz?

"Frustrate" isn't the only word you can use for someone or something that defeats your plans or efforts. Which word below do you think is a synonym of "frustrate"?

We hope our quiz didn't thwart you! "Frustrate," "thwart," and "foil" all mean "to check or defeat another's plan or prevent achievement of a goal," but there are slight differences between those terms. "Frustrate" suggests that something causes failure even in the face of serious or repeated effort (as in, "lack of education frustrated his attempts to find a job"). "Thwart" implies hindering someone's plan by opposing it (as in, "the team was thwarted by its opponents"). "Foil" carries the idea of discouraging future attempts to reach a goal (for instance, "Bart's attempt to start a business was foiled by the weak economy").
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