ir·​ri·​ta·​ble | \ ˈir-ə-tə-bəl How to pronounce irritable (audio) \

Definition of irritable

: capable of being irritated: such as
a : easily exasperated or excited gets irritable when he tires
b : responsive to stimuli

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Other Words from irritable

irritableness noun
irritably \ ˈir-​ə-​tə-​blē How to pronounce irritable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of irritable in a Sentence

My father is always irritable after a nap. I came home from work feeling tired and irritable.
Recent Examples on the Web That was my husband — frustrated, irritable and detached. New York Times, 19 July 2021 The goal here is not to develop an alternative right-wing vision of U.S. history, but simply to mock the libs using their own language: conservatism, to update Lionel Trilling, as irritable mental gestures that seek to resemble jokes. Matthew Karp, Harper's Magazine, 22 June 2021 Turgenev, who became Dostoevsky’s lifelong enemy, deliberately provoked the irritable young man into saying absurdities and then circulated them. Gary Saul Morson, The New York Review of Books, 15 June 2021 Patriotic love is not blind to problems—remember Tocqueville’s irritable patriots, who simultaneously denounced and lauded the government. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 1 July 2021 As the day approached, my daughter grew more and more irritable. Washington Post, 24 June 2021 Some people act out and get kind of angry or frustrated or irritable. Erica Pearson, Star Tribune, 17 June 2021 The show's star is irritable, and clearly something is amiss. Ineye Komonibo,, 5 June 2021 Stressed kids can present as irritable, avoidant, even withdrawn. John Duffy, CNN, 4 May 2021

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

1662, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for irritable

Time Traveler

The first known use of irritable was in 1662

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Dictionary Entries Near irritable



irritable bowel syndrome

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Statistics for irritable

Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Irritable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for irritable



English Language Learners Definition of irritable

: becoming angry or annoyed easily


ir·​ri·​ta·​ble | \ ˈir-ə-tə-bəl How to pronounce irritable (audio) \

Kids Definition of irritable

: easily made angry or annoyed Hunger makes me irritable.

Other Words from irritable

irritably \ -​blē \ adverb


ir·​ri·​ta·​ble | \ ˈir-ət-ə-bəl How to pronounce irritable (audio) \

Medical Definition of irritable

: characterized by irritability: as
a : easily exasperated or excited
b : responsive to stimuli

More from Merriam-Webster on irritable

Nglish: Translation of irritable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irritable for Arabic Speakers


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