ir·​ri·​tat·​ing | \ˈir-ə-ˌtā-tiŋ \

Definition of irritating 

: causing displeasure, anger, or annoyance an irritating noise/habit I felt more and more angry. There was something very irritating and aggressive in Summerlee's demeanour.— Arthur Conan Doyle

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from irritating

irritatingly \ˈir-​ə-​ˌtā-​tiŋ-​lē \ adverb
The computer was irritatingly slow.

Examples of irritating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The infotainment system isn't on the level of Audi, BMW, or Volvo, the infotainment display is positioned a bit oddly, and navigating to some of the settings on the instrument-panel display can be irritating. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "A sports car in SUV clothing: The Jaguar E-Pace reviewed," 28 June 2018 But for others, the copper in the IUD can be irritating and actually lead to a heavier period. Korin Miller, SELF, "How Long Does a Period Last, Normally?," 17 May 2018 Baseball is confounding and confusing, irritating but entertaining, predictable yet full of surprises. David Haugh,, "Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati should be viewed as a blip, not a red flag," 25 June 2018 One irritating or obstinate writer can bring the entire machinery of a show to a halt. Mike Reiss, WSJ, "How to Succeed Like ‘The Simpsons’," 25 May 2018 Shah says oils like cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, cassia, black pepper, and wintergreen can be irritating and recommends always using proper dilution and doing a skin patch test first. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Essential Oils for Beginners: How to Use Them Safely in Your Beauty Routine," 7 May 2018 Jess is smart, easily bored, floundering in physics, and possessed of a tendency, alternately irritating and salutary, to push people to their limits and beyond. Julia M. Klein,, "'Sing the Body Electric' at Theatre Exile: Comedy, pathos - and lightning strikes," 26 Apr. 2018 Isabelle's next beau, an unhappily married stage actor (Nicholas Duvauchelle), seems gallant by comparison, though his endless hesitation reveals him to be a similarly irritating study in self-absorption. Justin Chang,, "Juliette Binoche lights up Claire Denis' exquisite 'Let the Sunshine In'," 3 May 2018 But when the Marthas suddenly—in a slightly irritating Deus Ex Machina way that doesn’t feel particularly earned—arrange for June to escape Gilead, Serena does the unthinkable and lets June take baby Nicole with her. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Finale Offers a Light in the Darkness," 11 July 2018

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

1707, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about irritating

Share irritating

Statistics for irritating

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irritating

The first known use of irritating was in 1707

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on irritating

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


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

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

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!