Share this entry

Share this page

irritate

Line breaks: ir¦ri|tate
Pronunciation: /ˈɪrɪteɪt
 
/

Definition of irritate in English:

verb

[with object]
1Make (someone) annoyed or a little angry: his tone irritated her
More example sentences
  • Later that evening, Jenny remarked that she was irritated with Sara.
  • Ryan asked, but Meg could tell he wasn't irritated; his tone was teasingly amiable.
  • The situation was made worse when Jason made a remark that had irritated her.
Synonyms
British informal wind up, nark, get across, get on someone's wick
North American informal tee off, tick off, burn up, rankle, ride, gravel, bum out
British informal get on someone's tits
informal , dated give someone the pip
vulgar slang piss off
rare exacerbate, hump, rasp
annoyed, cross, angry, vexed, exasperated, irked, piqued, displeased, put out, fed up, disgruntled, in a bad mood, in a temper, testy, in high dudgeon, huffy, in a huff, resentful, aggrieved;
North American informal teed off, ticked off, sore, bent out of shape
Australian/New Zealand informal snaky, crook
West Indian informal vex
vulgar slang pissed off
North American vulgar slang pissed
literary ireful
archaic snuffy, wrath
2Cause inflammation or other discomfort in (a part of the body): sprays and polishes can irritate dry, sensitive skin
More example sentences
  • The top of the femoral canal may be reinforced by a mesh made of a synthetic material that does not irritate the body.
  • Without the protection of the eyelid, the inside of the eyelid and the surface of your eye may become dry, irritated and inflamed.
  • Every single square inch of your body is irritated.
Synonyms
inflame, aggravate;
hurt, pain;
chafe, abrade, fret, gall, rub painfully, rub against, scratch, rasp, scrape, graze, grate
rare excoriate
2.1 Biology Stimulate (an organism, cell, or organ) to produce an active response.
Example sentences
  • The implanted electrodes may irritate the snake to such an extent that it may never reach basal condition.

Origin

mid 16th century (in the sense 'excite, provoke'): from Latin irritat- 'irritated', from the verb irritare.

Derivatives

irritative

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Irritated eyes: as the name suggests, it implies dry eyes, burning eyes, light sensitivity, eyestrain are the most pesky and irritative symptoms that trouble the computer user.
  • In our recent studies, we found that exposure to petrochemical air pollution is associated with increased rates of acute irritative symptoms in adults.
  • Other presentations include irritative voiding, discharge of mucous blood or pus from the umbilicus, and obstructive symptoms.

irritator

2
noun
Example sentences
  • The Kings and the Lakers got involved in a scuffle following the actions of two of the biggest irritators.
  • I bombed into French in a perky mood; not even Eric (the class irritator) could being me down that day.

Definition of irritate in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…