Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of nettle are exasperate, irritate, peeve, provoke, and rile. While all these words mean "to excite a feeling of anger or annoyance," nettle suggests a sharp but passing annoyance or stinging.

your pompous attitude nettled several people

When would exasperate be a good substitute for nettle?

Although the words exasperate and nettle have much in common, exasperate suggests galling annoyance and the arousing of extreme impatience.

his exasperating habit of putting off needed decisions

When might irritate be a better fit than nettle?

While the synonyms irritate and nettle are close in meaning, irritate implies an often gradual arousing of angry feelings that may range from mere impatience to rage.

constant nagging that irritated me greatly

In what contexts can peeve take the place of nettle?

The words peeve and nettle are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, peeve suggests arousing fretful often petty or querulous irritation.

a toddler peeved at being refused a cookie

When is provoke a more appropriate choice than nettle?

The words provoke and nettle can be used in similar contexts, but provoke implies an arousing of strong annoyance that may excite to action.

remarks made solely to provoke her

When could rile be used to replace nettle?

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

the new work schedules riled the employees

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Cite this Entry

“Nettle.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/nettle. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

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