1

irk

verb \ ˈərk \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of irk

transitive verb
: to make weary, irritated, or bored

Examples of irk in a Sentence

  1. Drivers were irked by the higher gasoline prices.

  2. It irks me to have to clean up after you.

Recent Examples of irk from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of irk

Middle English

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

irk

noun

Definition of irk

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

Examples of irk in a Sentence

  1. one of the prof's major irks is a cell phone that rings during a lecture

First Known Use of irk

circa 1570


IRK Defined for English Language Learners

irk

verb

Definition of irk for English Language Learners

  • : to bother or annoy (someone)


IRK Defined for Kids

irk

verb \ ˈərk \

Definition of irk for Students

irked; irking
: annoy
  • That noise irks me.


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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