Asperity As*per"i*ty, n.; pl. {Asperities}. [L. asperitas, fr. asper rough: cf. F. asp['e]rit['e].] 1. Roughness of surface; unevenness; -- opposed to {smoothness}. ``The asperities of dry bodies.'' --Boyle. [1913 Webster]

2. Roughness or harshness of sound; that quality which grates upon the ear; raucity. [1913 Webster]

3. Roughness to the taste; sourness; tartness. [1913 Webster]

4. Moral roughness; roughness of manner; severity; crabbedness; harshness; -- opposed to {mildness}. ``Asperity of character.'' --Landor. [1913 Webster]

It is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

5. Sharpness; disagreeableness; difficulty. [1913 Webster]

The acclivities and asperities of duty. --Barrow. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Acrimony; moroseness; crabbedness; harshness; sourness; tartness. See {Acrimony}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Asperity — is defined as unevenness of surface, roughness, ruggedness (OED). Flat surfaces, even those polished to a mirror finish, are not truly flat on an atomic scale. They are rough, with sharp, rough or rugged outgrowth, termed asperities.When two… …   Wikipedia

  • asperity — index rigor, severity Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • asperity — c.1200, asprete hardship, harshness of feelings, a figurative use, from O.Fr. asperité difficulty, painful situation, harsh treatment (12c., Mod.Fr. ápreté), from L. asperitatem (nom. asperitas) roughness, from asper rough, harsh, of unknown… …   Etymology dictionary

  • asperity — *acrimony, acerbity Analogous words: sharpness, keenness (see corresponding adjectives at SHARP): causticity, mordancy (see corresponding adjectives at CAUSTIC): snappishness, waspishness, irritability (see corresponding adjectives at IRRITABLE)… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • asperity — [n] harshness; bad temper acerbity, acrimony, bitterness, churlishness, crabbiness, crossness, difficulty, disagreeableness, irascibility, irritability, meanness, moroseness, peevishness, roughness, sharpness, sourness, sullenness, tartness;… …   New thesaurus

  • asperity — ► NOUN (pl. asperities) 1) harshness of tone or manner. 2) a rough edge on a surface. ORIGIN Latin asperitas, from asper rough …   English terms dictionary

  • asperity — [ə sper′ə tē] n. pl. asperities [ME & OFr asprete < L asperitas, roughness < asper, rough < IE * apo spero , repellent < base * apo , away + * sper , to flick away, push] 1. roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, weather, etc.… …   English World dictionary

  • asperity — noun a) Roughness as of stone or weather. Asperity of Maines winter b) Something that is harsh and hard to endure. Go, ribald, get you henceTo your cabin with celerity.This is the consequenceOf ill advised asperity! …   Wiktionary

  • asperity — [[t]æspe̱rɪti[/t]] N UNCOUNT: oft with N If you say something with asperity, you say it impatiently and severely. [FORMAL] I told you Preskel had no idea, remarked Kemp with some asperity. Syn: sharpness …   English dictionary

  • asperity — noun (plural ties) Etymology: Middle English asprete, from Anglo French aspreté, from aspre rough, from Latin asper, from Old Latin *absperos, from ab ab + speros; akin to Sanskrit apasphura repelling, Latin spernere to spurn more at spurn Date:… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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