an·​noy | \ ə-ˈnȯi How to pronounce annoy (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 All of these people are the latest victims of an internet-age crime called swatting, in which bad actors sic the police on a fellow internet user who has angered, offended, or simply annoyed them. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Swatting Is a Deadly Problem—Here's the Solution," 22 Aug. 2019 After investigations by the Marion County Sheriff's Office and McDonald's started on Friday, police arrived at the conclusion that no McDonald's employee wanted to harm or otherwise annoy him. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "A police officer claimed McDonald's workers bit into his McChicken. He'd 'forgotten' he already ate it.," 29 July 2019 And then a male friend suggested something rogue – something that didn’t annoy me. Vicky Spratt,, "Can Everyone Please Stop Telling Me To Read The Secret?It's Not Helping," 2 July 2019 But every word out of my mouth seems to annoy him, and by the end of my desperate speech, the man is sucking his braces nonstop. Annika Hernroth-rothstein, National Review, "I Was Kidnapped in Venezuela," 7 June 2019 Apple Apple TV+, which has seen trailers for its shows trickle out over the last few weeks, got a few more previews at today’s event, including See, Jason Momoa’s show set in a future where only his children can see and that seems to annoy everyone. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Everything Apple announced at today’s September event," 10 Sep. 2019 The Clippers won 48 games last season and annoyed the life out of the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "For the time being, ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala stuck in Memphis," 10 Sep. 2019 What to do about annoying behavior on planes The worst behavior on a plane is a fascinating and controversial subject. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "The worst-behaved people on a plane? Hint: It's not babies," 30 Aug. 2019 Authorities also ruled against residents of a village in the French Alps who complained in 2017 about annoying cow bells, and an effort last year to push out cicadas from a southern town to protect tourists from their summer song also failed. NBC News, "'I've gotta crow': Maurice the French rooster wins courtroom cock fight," 5 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about annoy

Time Traveler for annoy

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for annoy

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Annoy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for annoy


How to pronounce annoy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of annoy

: to cause (someone) to feel slightly angry


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

Kids Definition of annoy

: to cause to feel slightly angry or irritated

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on annoy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for annoy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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