irritant

adjective
ir·​ri·​tant | \ˈir-ə-tənt \

Definition of irritant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: causing irritation specifically : tending to produce physical irritation

irritant

noun

Definition of irritant (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that irritates or excites

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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 plan also requests better treatment for Chinese technology companies—a sharpening irritant in relations. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S. and China Make Scant Progress in Trade Talks," 4 May 2018 The united front was possible because Mr. Trump’s aides had persuaded him to set aside irritants with U.S. allies by striking deals that let all sides declare victory. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Trade Wars of 2018: An Alternate History," 10 June 2018 He was well liked by teammates and an irritant to opponents. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Lonzo Ball 'isn’t running from the competition' after Rajon Rondo joins Lakers," 3 July 2018 The media has long been an irritant to the military. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistan Media Says It’s Targeted in Army’s ‘Systematic, Creeping, Coup’," 26 June 2018 Rubber gloves can help reduce your exposure to dish soap, which can be an irritant for people with hand eczema, Cynthia Bailey, M.D., a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Ways to Deal With That Frustrating Hand Eczema," 25 Apr. 2018 Eczema ultimately comes down to an issue with your skin barrier, which is supposed to protect you from things like bacteria, irritants, and allergens. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Causes Eczema, Anyway?," 13 July 2018 Some contained a sticky irritant, and several staff members were taken to hospitals as a precaution, but a parliamentary spokesman said the substance was found not to be harmful. New York Times, "Muslim U.K. Lawmakers Receive Threatening Packages With Letter," 16 Mar. 2018 Yet the list of ingredients (one version contains phenol, a potential irritant) didn’t sit well with her. Kari Molvar, Vogue, "Meet Moon Juice’s Next Cult Creation: Skin Care With Super-herbs," 7 June 2018

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

Adjective

1636, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1802, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for irritant

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Time Traveler for irritant

The first known use of irritant was in 1636

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More Definitions for irritant

irritant

noun

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 \

Kids Definition of irritant

1 : something that is annoying

2 : something that causes soreness or sensitivity

irritant

adjective
ir·​ri·​tant | \ˈir-ə-tənt \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on irritant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for irritant

Spanish Central: Translation of irritant

Nglish: Translation of irritant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irritant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on irritant

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