irritability

noun
ir·​ri·​ta·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌir-ə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce irritability (audio) \
plural irritabilities

Definition of irritability

1 : the quality or state of being irritable: such as
a : quick excitability to annoyance, impatience, or anger : petulance
b : abnormal or excessive excitability of an organ or part of the body
2 : the property of protoplasm and of living organisms that permits them to react to stimuli

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of irritability in a Sentence

the librarian's well-known irritability makes students hesitant to ask questions
Recent Examples on the Web Her daily tears and irritability are common signs of clinical depression. Lori Gottlieb, The Atlantic, "Dear Therapist: My Mom Is Struggling With Serious Depression," 22 June 2020 Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium and seizures are all signs of heatstroke. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This week will be in the 90s. Here are a few tips for staying safe and helping others through the heat wave.," 7 July 2020 The irritability and fatigue of PMS affect many women who are sensitive to the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle. Leslie Pepper, Better Homes & Gardens, "Decoding Your Hormones: How to Navigate Your Body's Changes as You Age," 30 June 2020 The time to worry, says Elizabeth Schwarz, a child psychiatrist in New York City, is when kids display extremes in behavior, such as sleeping all the time or not at all, increased irritability, and changes in weight. Lydia Denworth, The Atlantic, "What Happens When Kids Don’t See Their Peers for Months," 24 June 2020 And studies have long connected prolonged lead exposure to developmental delays, poor performance in school, lower IQ scores, loss of appetite, weight loss, and irritability. Anuradha Varanasi, Wired, "India Is Using More Solar Energy—but It Carries a Lead Risk," 6 June 2020 The symptoms are familiar: Fear and anxiety; feeling isolated and alone; sadness and grief; exhaustion, irritability and anger; feeling confused, forgetful and distracted. Anchorage Daily News, "Rhythm, routine, and rituals: How to protect your mental health while self-isolating," 19 May 2020 But the regimen is not right for everyone—fasting for long periods of time can cause drops in blood sugar levels, which can lead to grogginess, dizziness, headaches, irritability, fatigue, and dehydration. Hope Corrigan, Quartz, "The damaging double standard behind intermittent fasting," 25 Nov. 2019 Parents are urged to monitor for prolonged fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloodshot eyes, skin rash, and change in skin color, difficultly feeding, trouble breathing, racing heart, lethargy, irritability or confusion. Fox News, "NY to resume elective surgeries in more counties, Cuomo says," 13 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irritability.' 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 irritability

1755, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about irritability

Time Traveler for irritability

Time Traveler

The first known use of irritability was in 1755

See more words from the same year

Statistics for irritability

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irritability.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irritability. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for irritability

irritability

noun
ir·​ri·​ta·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌir-ə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce irritability (audio) \

Kids Definition of irritability

: the quality of easily becoming angry or annoyed

irritability

noun
ir·​ri·​ta·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌir-ət-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce irritability (audio) \
plural irritabilities

Medical Definition of irritability

1 : the property of protoplasm and of living organisms that permits them to react to stimuli
2a : quick excitability to annoyance, impatience, or anger
b : abnormal or excessive excitability of an organ or part of the body (as the stomach or bladder)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on irritability

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!