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.
Recent Examples on the Web Corsx created this cleanser due to customer demand for a low pH cleanser; the majority of cleansers available are alkaline to remove debris, and the alkalinity can irritate and dry skin. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 May 2022 Chinese-American designer Sonia Hou started her business in an effort to make affordable yet high-quality jewelry that didn't tarnish, flake, or irritate her skin. Jennifer Chan, PEOPLE.com, 8 May 2022 Another tip: If you’re nauseated, skip the greasy, high-fat meal that takes longer to digest and can further irritate your stomach. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 5 May 2022 The coverage lasted all day, even on a tester with oily skin, and didn’t irritate another user with very sensitive skin. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 26 Apr. 2022 Some pesticides can impact the body, cause cancer, or irritate the eyes and skin according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. Ebony Williams, ajc, 11 Apr. 2022 Pesticides can impact the nervous system, irritate the eyes and skin, interfere with the hormonal systems of the body, or cause cancer, the EPA said. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 7 Apr. 2022 Many messenger bags feature straps that start to chafe and irritate your shoulder area. Rebecca Carhart, Travel + Leisure, 4 Apr. 2022 There also will be low relative humidity, which will make people’s skin dry and, for some, irritate their sinuses. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Feb. 2022 See More

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

Time Traveler for irritate

Time Traveler

The first known use of irritate was in 1598

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Dictionary Entries Near irritate

irritant clause

irritate

irritated

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Statistics for irritate

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Irritate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irritate. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for irritate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on irritate

Nglish: Translation of irritate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irritate for Arabic Speakers

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