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 Further, as an airplane’s low humidity irritates mucosal membranes in the nose and mouth, leading many passengers to half-unconsciously scratch there, creating tiny tears where viruses can land. Anchorage Daily News, "My start-up business requires that I travel frequently, but the coronavirus is freaking me out," 10 Feb. 2020 Many of Bloomberg's national television ads have focused on Trump, which reportedly has irritated the president. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Michael Bloomberg's $11M Super Bowl ad focuses on guns rather than Trump," 30 Jan. 2020 Without some food in your belly to act as a buffer, the components of some pills can be irritating to the lining of the stomach, Dr. Wexler says. Marygrace Taylor, SELF, "6 Surprising Reasons Why You're Feeling Nauseous," 24 Dec. 2019 These can be irritating to the skin, though, so start with one that has a low concentration and only apply it three nights a week until your skin builds up more of a tolerance. 13. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here's How To Get Beautiful Glowing Skin Overnight," 1 Oct. 2019 The catch: these movements must be done carefully to avoid irritating the ankle. Colin Hoobler, oregonlive, "CJ McCollum on the mend, but must tread carefully to avoid ankle re-injury," 23 Jan. 2020 Moose generally are not aggressive, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but if irritated or threatened can deliver deadly blows by kicking, usually with their front legs. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "Door camera records young moose trapping Anchorage man in his shed," 17 Jan. 2020 The 35-year-old co-host of The View is well-known for her contrarian opinions and non-answer answers, often to the point of visibly irritating her fellow co-hosts. Mekita Rivas, refinery29.com, "All The Signs That Meghan McCain Might Be Leaving The View," 10 Jan. 2020 As irritating, the authors never use one adjective when seven or eight will do. The Economist, "Bartleby Lost in the Amazon jungle," 9 Jan. 2020

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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Statistics for irritate

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irritate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irritate. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for irritate

irritate

verb
How to pronounce irritate (audio)

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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Comments on irritate

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