irritate

verb
ir·​ri·​tate | \ ˈir-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce irritate (audio) \
irritated; irritating

Definition of irritate

transitive verb

1 : to provoke impatience, anger, or displeasure in : annoy
2 : to induce irritability in or of

intransitive verb

: to cause or induce displeasure or irritation

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Choose the Right Synonym for irritate

irritate, exasperate, nettle, provoke, rile, peeve mean to excite a feeling of anger or annoyance. irritate implies an often gradual arousing of angry feelings that may range from mere impatience to rage. constant nagging that irritated me greatly exasperate suggests galling annoyance and the arousing of extreme impatience. his exasperating habit of putting off needed decisions nettle suggests a sharp but passing annoyance or stinging. your pompous attitude nettled several people provoke implies an arousing of strong annoyance that may excite to action. remarks made solely to provoke her rile implies inducing an angry or resentful agitation. the new work schedules riled the employees peeve suggests arousing fretful often petty or querulous irritation. a toddler peeved at being refused a cookie

Examples of irritate in a Sentence

It's his arrogance that really irritates me. The other passengers were irritated by the child's rudeness. Harsh soaps can irritate the skin.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Just this week, a woman was brought to court by newcomer neighbors irritated by the cackling of her ducks and geese. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Rooster Named Maurice Can Keep on Crowing, French Court Rules," 5 Sep. 2019 Britons have been irritated by calls and texts from claims companies even more than by Mr Schwarzenegger’s fizzog. The Economist, "PPI was a bonanza—for banks, and then for consumers," 29 Aug. 2019 Very rude and stupid to think everyone wants to be irritated by that kind of noise, and why would a restaurant think any music being piped in while all the chatter goes on is a smart thing? Sainted & Tainted Writers, Twin Cities, "Tainted: You dropped kittens out of a car window on the highway. What kind of person does that?," 29 June 2019 His focus on the legitimate business irritates his wife, Tasha (Naturi Naughton), and his white partner, Tommy Egan (Sikora), who want Ghost to pay more attention to his criminal enterprises and make more money. Greg Braxtonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "With all eyes on ‘Empire,’ Starz’s ‘Power’ has become the real ratings powerhouse," 23 Aug. 2019 The study found 60% said they are consistently irritated by customers who leave little or no tip. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Nearly 30% of food delivery drivers munch on your food in the car, study says," 31 July 2019 So this time around, per reports, Blackadder will be much older: an aging lecturer at university, perennially irritated by his young students. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rumor has it there’s a cunning plan to bring back Blackadder for fifth season," 1 July 2019 But Trump ended India’s favorable trade treatment June 5, irritated by the United States’ hefty trade deficit — an estimated $21.3 billion, federal data show — with New Delhi. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, "India slaps back at U.S. with tariffs, lobbing small but strategic strike ahead of G-20 summit," 17 June 2019 Coats and blazers are cut shorter in the back to avoid bunched fabric that can irritate skin and internal organs. Annie Groer, chicagotribune.com, "For people with disabilities, finding clothing that is stylish and meets their needs is getting easier," 7 Aug. 2019

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

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for irritate

Latin irritatus, past participle of irritare

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Learn More about irritate

Statistics for irritate

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irritate

The first known use of irritate was in 1598

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More Definitions for irritate

irritate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of irritate

: to make (someone) impatient, angry, or annoyed
: to make (part of your body) sore or painful

irritate

verb
ir·​ri·​tate | \ ˈir-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce irritate (audio) \
irritated; irritating

Kids Definition of irritate

1 : annoy His constant chatter irritates me.
2 : to make sensitive or sore The harsh soap irritated my skin.

irritate

verb
ir·​ri·​tate | \ ˈir-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce irritate (audio) \
irritated; irritating

Medical Definition of irritate

transitive verb

1 : to provoke impatience, anger, or displeasure in
2 : to cause (an organ or tissue) to be irritable : produce irritation in harsh soaps may irritate the skin
3 : to produce excitation in (as a nerve) : cause (as a muscle) to contract

intransitive verb

: to induce irritation

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More from Merriam-Webster on irritate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with irritate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for irritate

Spanish Central: Translation of irritate

Nglish: Translation of irritate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irritate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on irritate

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