an·​noy ə-ˈnȯi How to pronounce annoy (audio)
annoyed; annoying; annoys

transitive verb

: to disturb or irritate especially by repeated acts
annoyed the neighbors with their loud arguments
: to harass especially by quick brief attacks
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

Examples of annoy in a Sentence

deliberately annoyed the elderly neighbor by walking across his lawn
Recent Examples on the Web The fact that Republicans cannot even agree among themselves illustrates both the scope of the challenge and the disproportionate power of the House GOP’s right wing—a dynamic that is beginning to annoy their more mainstream colleagues in the conference. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2023 Happily, the ‘24 Subie has improved other details that annoyed her. cleveland, 16 Sep. 2023 Alabama history is built on temper tantrums, active defiance of rules, dawdling, argumentativeness, stubbornness, or being easily annoyed. John Archibald |, al, 8 Sep. 2023 Amid friends’ pics, viral videos, and annoying political posts, some social media users in Southeastern Massachusetts are now seeing new ads pitching a life-changing proposition: foster parenting. Jason Laughlin,, 7 Sep. 2023 Some Connecticut residents are simply annoyed by the situation. Amelia Nierenberg, New York Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Brian Wacker, reporter Bengals 27, Ravens 17: The Bengals come into this one annoyed from getting embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 and do so healthy, unlike the Ravens, who could be without as many as six starters. Baltimore Sun Staff, Baltimore Sun, 15 Sep. 2023 In the end, what annoys me the most is that Apple took so long to adopt for the iPhone the cable used by the rest of the gadget world. Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 Also dropped Tuesday was a misdemeanor count of accosting or annoying another person and two misdemeanor counts of providing liquor to a person under 21. Bob Hohler,, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'annoy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of annoy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near annoy

Cite this Entry

“Annoy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​noy ə-ˈnȯi How to pronounce annoy (audio)
: to disturb or irritate especially by repeated acts : vex
annoyer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on annoy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!