harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony:
The cause of her anger did not warrant such asperity.
hardship; difficulty; rigor:
the asperities of polar weather.
roughness of surface; unevenness.
something rough or harsh.
Contemporary Examples

He looked at the president when the president spoke, and his expression revealed no asperity or disdain.
Why Obama Lost David Frum October 3, 2012

Historical Examples

“Mr. Ford has already explained the situation,” he said with asperity.
Martin Eden Jack London

From this Claude went on to remark with asperity that Murillo painted like an ignoramus.
The Fat and the Thin Emile Zola

Time has softened the asperity of our feelings, and the productions of Shelley’s genius are now justly admired.
Genius in Sunshine and Shadow Maturin Murray Ballou

I tried to express my grief and sympathy, but he cut me short with some asperity.
The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro

And then with some asperity, as I imagine, the young duke told him that “truly he had no inclination for food.”
Familiar Studies of Men and Books Robert Louis Stevenson

“No doubt he thought she was worth it,” said Tresler, with some asperity.
The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum

“Oh, if you find your own cases more interesting than mine—” said Holmes, with some asperity.
Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“She will be guided by us in this,” the Bishop rejoined with asperity.
The Wild Geese Stanley John Weyman

“I did not say that it was,” retorted the major with a touch of asperity in his tone.
A Book of Ghosts Sabine Baring-Gould

noun (pl) -ties
roughness or sharpness of temper
roughness or harshness of a surface, sound, taste, etc
a condition hard to endure; affliction
(physics) the elastically compressed region of contact between two surfaces caused by the normal force

c.1200, asprete “hardship, harshness of feelings,” a figurative use, from Old French asperité “difficulty, painful situation, harsh treatment” (12c., Modern French âpreté), from Latin asperitatem (nominative asperitas) “roughness,” from asper “rough, harsh,” of unknown origin; in Latin used also of sour wine, bad weather, and hard times. Figurative meaning “harshness of feeling” attested from early 15c.

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    aspermatism aspermatism a·sper·ma·tism (ā-spûr’mə-tĭz’əm, ə-spûr’-) or a·sper·mi·a (ā-spûr’mē-ə, ā-spûr’-) n. The inability to secrete or ejaculate semen.

  • Asperse

    to attack with false, malicious, and damaging charges or insinuations; slander. to sprinkle; bespatter. Contemporary Examples I don’t wish to asperse the fellow, but he does have a background as a Republican staffer and operative. Who Inspects the Inspector? Michael Tomasky August 19, 2013 Historical Examples For endeavoring to asperse your petitioner’s personal character in […]

  • Asperser

    to attack with false, malicious, and damaging charges or insinuations; slander. to sprinkle; bespatter. verb (transitive) to spread false rumours about; defame (rare) to sprinkle, as with water in baptism v. late 15c., “to besprinkle,” from Latin aspersus, past participle of aspergere (see aspersion). Meaning “to bespatter someone’s character with rumor and false reports” is […]

  • Aspersion

    a damaging or derogatory remark or criticism; slander: casting aspersions on a campaign rival. the act of slandering; vilification; defamation; calumniation; derogation: Such vehement aspersions cannot be ignored. the act of sprinkling, as in baptism. Archaic. a shower or spray. Contemporary Examples I suspect that Obama, too—for all his personal angst over the Muslim aspersion—will […]

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