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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb irk differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of irk are annoy, bother, and vex. While all these words mean "to upset a person's composure," irk stresses difficulty in enduring and the resulting weariness or impatience of spirit.

careless waste irks the boss

In what contexts can annoy take the place of irk?

While the synonyms annoy and irk are close in meaning, annoy implies a wearing on the nerves by persistent petty unpleasantness.

their constant complaining annoys us

Where would bother be a reasonable alternative to irk?

The meanings of bother and irk largely overlap; however, bother suggests interference with comfort or peace of mind.

don't bother me while I'm reading

When can vex be used instead of irk?

The synonyms vex and irk are sometimes interchangeable, but vex implies greater provocation and stronger disturbance and usually connotes anger but sometimes perplexity or anxiety.

vexed by her son's failure to clean his room

Thesaurus Entries Near irk

Cite this Entry

“Irk.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on irk

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