Asperity refers to roughness, harshness, or severity of manner or temperament. It can also refer to the roughness of a surface or texture.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



Harshness, severity, acrimony, bitterness, roughness, coarseness, sharpness, gruffness, rigor.


Smoothness, kindness, gentleness, softness, mildness, generosity, warmth, affability.

Example sentences

  • The boss’s asperity made it difficult for employees to approach him with their concerns.
  • The asperity of the terrain made it challenging for the hikers to continue on their journey.
  • The asperity of his tone made it clear that he was not pleased with the situation.


The word “asperity” is a noun that can refer to a variety of things that are rough, harsh, or severe. When it is used to describe someone’s manner or temperament, it usually refers to a harsh or severe attitude, tone, or behavior. This can make it difficult for others to approach or communicate with that person. For example, a boss who uses asperity when speaking to their employees may create a tense or uncomfortable work environment. On the other hand, asperity can also be used to describe physical roughness, such as the rough texture of a surface or terrain.

The root of “asperity” is the Latin word “asper”, meaning rough or harsh. The suffix “-ity” means “condition or quality of”, so “asperity” refers to the condition or quality of being rough or harsh. The prefix “a-” means “not” or “without”, so “asperity” can also be used to describe a lack of smoothness or softness.

Some synonyms of “asperity” include “harshness”, “severity”, and “sharpness”, which all describe something that is rough or difficult to handle. Antonyms of “asperity” include “kindness”, “gentleness”, and “softness”, which describe a more compassionate or considerate approach.

Overall, “asperity” is a useful word when describing something that is rough or harsh, whether it is a person’s manner or temperament or the physical texture of a surface. It is important to use this word thoughtfully, as it can have negative connotations and be interpreted as rude or unkind