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

Heat and sunlight trigger chemical reactions with pollution in the atmosphere that create lung-irritating smog. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland weather: The year's first heat wave is here, and it's bringing poor air quality," 26 June 2019 Prescription antibiotics, anti-microbial supplements, alcohol, gut-irritating foods, and stress can and will change your gut. Steven Macari, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 9 Best Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies," 15 May 2019 Good news for those with sensitive skin: Finally, skin-care formulas are starting to include a less-irritating, natural alternative to retinol. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "What Is Bakuchiol? Experts Explain the Benefits of the Natural Alternative to Retinol," 7 Sep. 2018 But the criticism of his decision to jump to Golden State irritated him. New York Times, "Kevin Durant to Join Nets in N.B.A. Free Agency," 30 June 2019 They are increasingly irritated by the Democrats’ mulish persistence in an anti-Trump impeachment gambit at the expense of dealing with pressing national problems. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Why Pelosi Continues to Deflect the Censure Gambit," 22 June 2019 That’s one thing that really irritates me about the gender conversation. Noor Brara, Vogue, "How a Woman-Led Dinner Series, and the Country’s Best Chefs, Are Changing the Culinary Status Quo," 2 Apr. 2019 Just about everyone's irritated with it right now: bachelorette nation watching cam walk in on the group date: #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/zCubNndZDt — uwu (@sophiebornes) May 21, 2019 And the producers loooove it. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Cam Ayala from 'The Bachelorette' Has Inspired Some Pretty Amazing Memes," 28 May 2019 Soothe Rescue Mask For days when your skin is feeling raw and irritated, allow the Soothe Rescue Mask to come to the, well, rescue. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Rodan + Fields Just Launched a Fun Line of Face Masks For Every Complexion Concern," 15 May 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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Statistics for irritate

Last Updated

17 Jul 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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