irritant

noun
ir·​ri·​tant | \ ˈir-ə-tənt How to pronounce irritant (audio) \

Definition of irritant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that irritates or excites

irritant

adjective

Definition of irritant (Entry 2 of 2)

: causing irritation specifically : tending to produce physical irritation

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Examples of irritant in a Sentence

Noun dust and other lung irritants The delay was a minor irritant.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The chief irritant of the show is the knee-jerk splicing of the dramatic action with cable-news footage documenting Comey’s no-good, very bad time in the Administration. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Search for Kindred Spirits in “We Are Who We Are,” on HBO," 28 Sep. 2020 Officers threw canisters that released a harsh irritant into the air. oregonlive, "Portland police respond to Saturday night demonstration with blockade, force, riot declaration: Key takeaways," 23 Aug. 2020 However, joint compound dust is a respiratory irritant that contains super-fine gypsum and silica particulates. Joseph Truini And Merle Henkenius, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Drywall: Common Ways to Fix Damaged Walls," 18 Aug. 2020 With a range of up to 30 feet, pepper-spray balls are made of plastic that breaks on impact to release a chemical irritant intended to stun or incapacitate somebody. USA Today, "'Less lethal' can still maim and kill: A visual guide to weapons police use on protesters," 20 June 2020 Daffodils exude a sap that might be a skin irritant - take care to avoid contact. Author: Adrian Higgins, Anchorage Daily News, "An onslaught of orders engulfs seed companies amid coronavirus fears," 30 Mar. 2020 The report made no mention of willingness to discuss Chinese industrial and technology policy, a major irritant that sparked the tariff war. Washington Post, "Trump says US-China trade talks are ‘going very well’," 11 Oct. 2019 Sanctuary cities, in which local law enforcement declines to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, have long been an irritant for Mr. Trump. New York Times, "Mayor Defends Handling of Crowd at Rabbi’s Funeral," 29 Apr. 2020 Moscow’s support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been an irritant in its relations with Washington, which recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate head of state. Alan Cullison, WSJ, "Russia Says It Won’t Increase Presence in Venezuela," 27 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On June 3, New Orleans police fired tear gas and rubber projectiles at a crowd on the Crescent City Connection, sparking outrage and prompting the City Council to approve a proposal aimed at restricting police use of the chemical irritant. Ramon Antonio Vargas | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Despite summer protests, public satisfaction with New Orleans police grows, new survey finds," 14 Oct. 2020 At least 50 people were detained on Sunday, according to the BBC, while video footage showed police spraying an irritant directly into the faces of demonstrators. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Emmanuel Macron to meet Belarus opposition leader in highest-profile meeting since protests began," 28 Sep. 2020 Federal police responded by shooting impact munitions and setting off an irritant that caused people to struggle to breathe and cough. oregonlive, "Portland protest of Breonna Taylor grand jury decision prompts ‘riot’ declaration, arrests (key takeaways)," 24 Sep. 2020 Officers doused some protesters with a chemical spray and fire an irritant after demonstrators approached the building and shook surrounding metal fences. David Aaro, Fox News, "Police, protesters clash in Rochester after mayor suspends officers involved in man’s suffocation death," 4 Sep. 2020 Officers doused some protesters with a chemical spray and repeatedly fired an irritant into the crowd to drive activists away from metal barricades ringing the building. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "Best friend remembers Daniel Prude: ’He challenged me and inspired me. ... That’s the main reason why I can’t be silent.’," 4 Sep. 2020 Officers doused some protesters with a chemical spray and repeatedly fired an irritant into the crowd to drive activists from metal barricades ringing the building. CBS News, "Officers involved in suffocation death of Daniel Prude followed training "step by step," union head says," 4 Sep. 2020 At least 24 people were arrested, a Portland police officer was sent to the hospital and at least five officers were sprayed by a chemical irritant during the unlawful assembly in the Kenton neighborhood, according to police. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Portland police seize shields, arrest 24 before march; one officer hospitalized," 29 Sep. 2020 Their expansion in Turkey has added a cybersecurity irritant to military ties strained already by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy disputes with Washington. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Exclusive: Pompeo warns Turkey that Huawei threatens US military presence," 23 Sep. 2020

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

Noun

1802, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1636, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for irritant

Time Traveler

The first known use of irritant was in 1636

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Statistics for irritant

Last Updated

9 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irritant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irritant. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for irritant

irritant

noun
How to pronounce irritant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of irritant

: something that makes part of your body sore and painful
: something that is unpleasant or annoying : something that irritates you

irritant

noun
ir·​ri·​tant | \ ˈir-ə-tənt How to pronounce irritant (audio) \

Kids Definition of irritant

1 : something that is annoying
2 : something that causes soreness or sensitivity

irritant

adjective
ir·​ri·​tant | \ ˈir-ə-tənt How to pronounce irritant (audio) \

Medical Definition of irritant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing irritation specifically : tending to produce inflammation

irritant

noun

Medical Definition of irritant (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that irritates or excites specifically : an agent by which irritation is produced a chemical irritant

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Comments on irritant

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