n. pl. as·per·i·ties
a. Roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or climate: the asperity of northern winters.
b. Severity; rigor.
2. A slight projection from a surface; a point or bump.
3. Harshness of manner; ill temper or irritability.
[Middle English asperite, from Old French asprete, from Latin asperitās, from asper, rough.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.