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Line breaks: ir¦rit|able
Pronunciation: /ˈɪrɪtəb(ə)l

Definition of irritable in English:


1Having or showing a tendency to be easily annoyed: she was tired and irritable
More example sentences
  • She seemed irritable, and annoyed with my every move.
  • The wait would grate so terribly on my nerves that I could easily be irritable for days afterwards, but that particular drive was different.
  • Will asked, starting to get annoyed, the pain in his head making him more irritable.
2 Medicine (Of a body part) abnormally sensitive.
Example sentences
  • I still have irritable bowels though and sometimes the pain keeps me up at night.
  • Because their skin is inherently irritable, patients with atopic diseases may not tolerate topical retinoids, even if they apply a moisturiser.
  • The drugs that treat asthma either relax the bronchial spasm, or reduce the inflammation that makes the bronchial tubes swollen and irritable to minor irritants.
2.1(Of a condition) caused an abnormally sensitive body part: the seeds have been reputed to help conditions such as irritable bladder
More example sentences
  • General primary care nurses were trained to deliver cognitive behaviour therapy to patients with irritable bowel syndrome
  • But acupuncture works well for certain kinds of conditions and irritable bladder syndrome is one of them.
  • It has been shown to sooth irritable coughs and other respiratory problems.
2.2 Biology (Of a living organism) having the property of responding actively to physical stimuli.
Example sentences
  • To be a receiver rather than just an irritable organism is to be disposed to respond reliably and differentially to the perceivable environment.


mid 17th century: from Latin irritabilis, from the verb irritare (see irritate).



Example sentences
  • For the next month male deer will be irritably scratching and shaking their heads until their majestic antlers fall off.
  • He looked down irritably at the mess, then defiantly at me, and walked on, passing a litter bin without so much as a glance.
  • There are no insufferable people socializing irritably around their outdoor dining tables.

Definition of irritable in:

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