What does asperity mean?

Definitions for asperity
əˈspɛr ɪ tias·per·i·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word asperity.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. asperity, grimness, hardship, rigor, rigour, severity, severeness, rigorousness, rigourousnessnoun

    something hard to endure

    "the asperity of northern winters"

  2. asperity, sharpnessnoun

    harshness of manner


  1. asperitynoun

    Roughness as of stone or weather.

    asperity of Maine's winter

  2. asperitynoun

    Harshness, as of temper.

  3. asperitynoun

    Something that is harsh and difficult to endure.

  4. asperitynoun

    A part of a geological fault line that does not move.

    Earthquakes begin and end at asperities.

  5. Etymology: From asprete, from asperitatem, from asper.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Asperitynoun

    Etymology: asperitas, Lat.

    Sometimes the pores and asperities of dry bodies are so incommensurate to the particles of the liquor, that they glide over the surface. Boyle.

    The charity of the one, like kindly exhalations, will descend in showers of blessings; but the rigour and asperity of the other, in a severe doom upon ourselves. Govern. Tongue.

    Avoid all unseemliness and asperity of carriage; do nothing that may argue a peevish or froward spirit. John Rogers.


  1. asperity

    Asperity generally refers to harshness or roughness. It could be used to describe the roughness or unevenness of a physical surface or it could also refer to the harshness or severity in someone's manner, tone, or behavior. In the field of geology, asperity refers to an area on a fault that is locked or stuck, causing stress to build up, leading to an earthquake.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Asperitynoun

    roughness of surface; unevenness; -- opposed to smoothness

  2. Asperitynoun

    roughness or harshness of sound; that quality which grates upon the ear; raucity

  3. Asperitynoun

    roughness to the taste; sourness; tartness

  4. Asperitynoun

    moral roughness; roughness of manner; severity; crabbedness; harshness; -- opposed to mildness

  5. Asperitynoun

    sharpness; disagreeableness; difficulty


  1. Asperity

    In materials science, asperity, defined as "unevenness of surface, roughness, ruggedness", has implications in physics and seismology. Smooth surfaces, even those polished to a mirror finish, are not truly smooth on an atomic scale. They are rough, with sharp, rough or rugged projections, termed "asperities". When two macroscopically smooth surfaces come into contact, initially they only touch at a few of these asperity points. These cover only a very small portion of the surface area. Friction and wear originate at these points and thus understanding their behavior becomes important when studying materials in contact. When the surfaces are subjected to a compressive load, the asperities plastically deform, increasing the contact area between the two surfaces until the contact area is sufficient to support the load. The Archard equation provides a simplified model of asperity deformation when materials in contact are subject to a force.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Asperity

    as-per′i-ti, n. roughness: harshness: bitter coldness. [L. asperitat-em, asper, rough.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of asperity in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of asperity in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

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Translations for asperity

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"asperity." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/asperity>.

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    an unpleasant or disastrous destiny
    • A. jeopardize
    • B. refine
    • C. doom
    • D. conform

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