an·​noy | \ə-ˈnȯi \
annoyed; annoying; annoys

Definition of annoy 

transitive verb

1 : to disturb or irritate especially by repeated acts annoyed the neighbors with their loud arguments

2 : to harass especially by quick brief attacks

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Other Words from annoy

annoyer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for annoy

annoy, vex, irk, bother mean to upset a person's composure. annoy implies a wearing on the nerves by persistent petty unpleasantness. their constant complaining annoys us vex implies greater provocation and stronger disturbance and usually connotes anger but sometimes perplexity or anxiety. vexed by her son's failure to clean his room irk stresses difficulty in enduring and the resulting weariness or impatience of spirit. careless waste irks the boss bother suggests interference with comfort or peace of mind. don't bother me while I'm reading

synonyms see in addition worry

annoy, pester, and tease mean to disturb and upset a person. annoy is used for bothering someone to the point of anger. I am annoyed by your bad behavior. pester is used for bothering someone over and over. Stop pestering me for more money. tease often is used for continually tormenting someone until that person is provoked or upset. They teased the child to the point of tears.

Examples of annoy in a Sentence

deliberately annoyed the elderly neighbor by walking across his lawn

Recent Examples on the Web

As a player at Wisconsin, Krabbenhoft displayed the ability to annoy opponents with tenacity and physical play. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW assistant Joe Krabbenhoft pushing Aleem Ford to get tougher, more aggressive," 28 Feb. 2018 Takes Shira Ovide is annoyed that Facebook keeps comparing its efforts to shore up global democracy to its effort in 2012 to build a successful mobile app: Facebook’s 2012 smartphone reboot was a cinch compared with its current challenges. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter," 9 Nov. 2018 Comcast has good reasons to hold on to Hulu, one of which is simply to annoy Disney. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Comcast’s Revenge: Never Sell Hulu," 7 Oct. 2018 This was a clever invention and a great way to annoy anyone around you within earshot. Sable Yong, Allure, "How to Contour Your Brows With Benefit's New 4-in-1 Brow Contour Pro," 6 Aug. 2018 The predators hunt grubs, aphids, and houseflies — other pests that annoy at outdoor dinners and in your garden. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How to Wasp-Proof Your Backyard This Summer," 26 July 2018 But when people start to disparage Western medicine, that annoys me. Sarah Klein,, "Why This Ballerina With Panic Disorder and Depression Refuses to Apologize for Her Mental Illness," 22 May 2018 Brown was particularly annoyed after picking up his fourth and fifth fouls within a couple of possessions. Ed Barkowitz,, "Sixers 103, Celtics 92: Quick observations from Game 4," 7 May 2018 More: Doyel: LeBron James, Cavs keep undressing Pacers in first quarter James joked about the incident after the game, admitting that he was temporarily annoyed by Stephenson's tenacity. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Lance baits LeBron (again) but controversial late call goes against Pacers," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'annoy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of annoy

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for annoy

Middle English anoien, from Anglo-French anuier, ennoier, from Late Latin inodiare to make loathsome, from Latin in + odium hatred — more at odium

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Statistics for annoy

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for annoy

The first known use of annoy was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for annoy



English Language Learners Definition of annoy

: to cause (someone) to feel slightly angry


an·​noy | \ə-ˈnȯi \
annoyed; annoying

Kids Definition of annoy

: to cause to feel slightly angry or irritated

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More from Merriam-Webster on annoy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with annoy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for annoy

Spanish Central: Translation of annoy

Nglish: Translation of annoy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of annoy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on annoy

What made you want to look up annoy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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