\ 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

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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


Drivers were irked by the higher gasoline prices. It irks me to have to clean up after you.


one of the prof's major irks is a cell phone that rings during a lecture
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Batters were irked by Drake consistently calling borderline low pitches strikes. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers slump gets worse as they let win vs. Padres slip through their legs," 26 Aug. 2019 Trump’s comments irked many people and politicians in Greenland and Denmark, who have expressed anger over his rhetoric in recent days. Washington Post, "Trump might not be able to buy Greenland, but he could open a consulate there," 24 Aug. 2019 Its original inflatable dome cover irked neighbors, who complained to local officials in 2009. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "Scott McNealy Asks Nearly $100 Million for Silicon Valley Estate," 21 June 2018 Some journalists were irked when KISS frontman Gene Simmons and actor Gerard Butler took to the Pentagon podium in the last year before any Pentagon official had. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Top Pence aide Alyssa Farah to become Pentagon press secretary," 14 Aug. 2019 New stills from Enter the Florpus see Zim looking irked at his Irken leaders, as well as another slight problem with the humans. Nick Romano,, "Zim and Gir are back in Netflix's new Invader Zim movie teaser," 23 July 2019 Some fans were irked to hear Lizzo’s music being used to promote a brand built around dieting., "Right now Lizzo is everywhere; next week she’ll be at Edgefield," 12 July 2019 Is anybody besides me irked at the sight of LeMahieu in pinstripes? Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Big reason the shine is off Rockies’ season? D.J. LeMahieu, the all-star Jeff Bridich foolishly let get away," 10 July 2019 In contrasting fashion, Sarri irked Chelsea supporters with his refusal to hand younger players a chance, the Italians' handling of Callum Hudson-Odoi particularly annoying the fanbase., "Frank Lampard Officially Confirmed as New Chelsea Manager," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From that slight irk, a fuse is now irrevocably lit. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘The Loudest Voice’ really sticks it to Roger Ailes, who is still dead and doesn’t care what anyone thinks," 13 June 2019 But under the direction of Susannah Martin, those devices more irk than stoke fear. Lily Janiak,, "Hitler-themed ‘In Braunau’ at SF Playhouse tortures characters and audience," 25 June 2018

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.

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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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Learn More about irk

Dictionary Entries near irk


iris whitefly






Statistics for irk

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irk

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

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More Definitions for irk



English Language Learners Definition of irk

: to bother or annoy (someone)


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

Kids Definition of irk

: annoy That noise irks me.

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More from Merriam-Webster on irk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with irk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for irk

Spanish Central: Translation of irk

Nglish: Translation of irk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on irk

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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