According to August 7, 2001's A.Word.A.Day's mailing, vexatious can also mean a legal action with insufficient legal basis which is filed purely to annoy the defendant.

The etymology of vexatious is fairly straight-forward, as oftentimes muddled English words go. Derives from Middle English vexacioun, from Latin vexation, from vexare, to vex or annoy.

Vex*a"tious (?), a. [See Vexation.]


Causing vexation; agitating; afflictive; annoying; as, a vexatious controversy; a vexatious neighbor.

"Continual vexatious wars."



Full or vexation, trouble, or disquiet; disturbed.

He leads a vexatious life. Sir K. Digby.

Vexatious suit Law, a suit commenced for the purpose of giving trouble, or without cause.

-- Vex*a"tious*ly, adv. -- Vex*a"tious*ness, n.


© Webster 1913.

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