Synonyms & Antonyms of irritate

1 to disturb the peace of mind of (someone) especially by repeated disagreeable acts
  • constant chatter irritated the student, who was trying to concentrate on a hard assignment

Synonyms for irritate

Words Related to irritate

Phrases Synonymous with irritate

Near Antonyms for irritate

2 to make sore by continued rubbing
  • new shoes usually irritate my feet

Synonyms for irritate

Words Related to irritate

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Frequently Asked Questions About irritate

How is the word irritate different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of irritate are exasperate, nettle, peeve, provoke, and rile. While all these words 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

When would exasperate be a good substitute for irritate?

The meanings of exasperate and irritate largely overlap; however, exasperate suggests galling annoyance and the arousing of extreme impatience.

his exasperating habit of putting off needed decisions

When is nettle a more appropriate choice than irritate?

The words nettle and irritate can be used in similar contexts, but nettle suggests a sharp but passing annoyance or stinging.

your pompous attitude nettled several people

When might peeve be a better fit than irritate?

While the synonyms peeve and irritate are close in meaning, peeve suggests arousing fretful often petty or querulous irritation.

a toddler peeved at being refused a cookie

When could provoke be used to replace irritate?

The words provoke and irritate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, provoke implies an arousing of strong annoyance that may excite to action.

remarks made solely to provoke her

When can rile be used instead of irritate?

In some situations, the words rile and irritate are roughly equivalent. However, rile implies inducing an angry or resentful agitation.

the new work schedules riled the employees

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Time Traveler for irritate

Time Traveler

The first known use of irritate was in 1598

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Cite this Entry

“Irritate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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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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