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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of irritant in a Sentence

Noun

dust and other lung irritants The delay was a minor irritant.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While dealing with sensitive skin is often frustrating, there‘s solace in today‘s ever-growing market, which has never been better suited for showing skin TLC while steering clear of irritants. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Pro’s Guide to Managing Sensitive Skin This Winter," 27 Dec. 2018 Inside the freakishly cohesive culture of the company, they were considered an irritant. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook is pushing out its most creative skeptics," 28 Sep. 2018 There are irritants in the U.S.-China relationship beyond trade, such as China’s claims to, and construction on islands in, the South China Sea. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S., China Face Thorny Obstacles to Lasting Trade Peace," 2 Dec. 2018 Yes, the very same oil seen in your acne-curing products is also a major irritant—at least, when used incorrectly. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "4 Essential Oils That Are Actually Really Irritating to Skin," 11 Oct. 2018 The less potential irritants women place on their vulvovaginal tissues, the better. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Two L(i)ps Unveils an Activated Charcoal Sheet Mask for Vulvas," 21 Sep. 2018 The condition, which may be exacerbated by certain allergens or irritants such as soaps or detergents, can flare up from time to time. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "Tormented by eczema, woman kills her parents and then herself, police say," 20 June 2018 At other times, the cars emitted far more nitrogen oxide, a lung irritant that also causes smog, than permitted. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler Arrested Over Diesel Scandal," 18 June 2018 This may seem obvious, but a lot of the lip plumpers that claim to enhance lip volume contain irritants or chemicals, such as those derived from cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Talia Abbas, SELF, "We Asked Derms How to Keep Dry Lips Moisturized During Winter and Here’s What They Told Us," 11 Dec. 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.

See More

First Known Use of irritant

Adjective

1636, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1802, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about irritant

Statistics for irritant

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irritant

The first known use of irritant was in 1636

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!