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 Juvenile was on Instagram Live over the weekend when he got annoyed by fans asking about a Hot Boys reunion. Angel Diaz, Billboard, 20 May 2024 Several came out to watch the police activity and told Fox News Digital they were getting annoyed by the attention to their typically quiet suburban community. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for annoy 

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 25 May. 2024.

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!