\ ˈərk How to pronounce irk (audio) \
irked; irking; irks

Definition of irk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make weary, irritated, or bored



Definition of irk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the fact of being annoying
2 : a source of annoyance

Choose the Right Synonym for irk


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

Examples of irk in a Sentence

Verb Drivers were irked by the higher gasoline prices. It irks me to have to clean up after you. Noun one of the prof's major irks is a cell phone that rings during a lecture
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As Americans, both of these points irk us in a particularly galling manner. Adam M. Carrington, National Review, 7 June 2022 Some could be inconsequential, and some could really irk the homicide detectives working the case. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 20 Apr. 2022 But the quirks of the new facility still irk some travelers. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, 10 May 2013 The question arising at every Cannes Film Festival lineup announcement about why the festival has not selected films from a particular country tends to irk chief selector Thierry Frémaux. Patrick Frater, Variety, 19 May 2022 Even that simple pledge on bots could irk China’s propagandists, who have openly bought fake accounts and used them to undercut claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 In some cases, though, the Giants have pushed the game forward in ways that irk their opponents. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 Adding a role to the list could irk Tesla shareholders. New York Times, 4 Apr. 2022 Some of the intelligence that seems to irk the Ukrainian government the most is speculation about a specific invasion date, and the alleged Russian plan to fabricate a pretext for an invasion using a fake video involving actors. NBC News, 16 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The violence gets worse from there, and somehow all that is supposed to fit into a show about a Washington socialite whose biggest irk in the premiere is her rivalry with the first lady. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 The Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson varieties seem to sit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of immunological irk. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 1 Dec. 2021 From that slight irk, a fuse is now irrevocably lit. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, 13 June 2019 But under the direction of Susannah Martin, those devices more irk than stoke fear. Lily Janiak,, 25 June 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of irk


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for irk


Middle English

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The first known use of irk was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Irk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for irk


\ ˈərk How to pronounce irk (audio) \
irked; irking

Kids Definition of irk

: annoy That noise irks me.

More from Merriam-Webster on irk

Nglish: Translation of irk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irk for Arabic Speakers


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