Definition of irritation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪrɪˈteɪʃn/


[mass noun]
1The state of feeling annoyed, impatient, or slightly angry: much to my irritation, Chris fell asleep
More example sentences
  • And all without the slightest signs of irritation or impatience.
  • The impatience and irritation that was such a marked characteristic of New York is gone, replaced by a rare generosity and calm.
  • Instead, his look of irritation and slight anger remained, making her quickly look back down to the paper.
annoyance, infuriation, exasperation, vexation, indignation, impatience, crossness, displeasure, resentment, gall, chagrin, pique;
anger, rage, fury, wrath, outrage, temper
informal aggravation
literary ire
1.1 [count noun] A thing that annoys or irritates someone: the minor irritations of life
More example sentences
  • Naturally, this disability is attended by irritations, inconveniences, and some significant professional frustrations.
  • The stress, irritations, fears and hopes are excised through simple repetitive movement.
  • The entries cited in the catalogue deal with problems and irritations common to all portrait painters.
irritant, source of irritation, source of vexation, annoyance, source of annoyance, thorn in someone's side/flesh, pinprick, pest, bother, trial, torment, plague, inconvenience, nuisance, bugbear, menace
informal aggravation, peeve, pain, pain in the neck, bind, bore, headache, hassle
Scottish informal nyaff, skelf
North American informal pain in the butt, nudnik, burr in/under someone's saddle
Australian informal fair cow
Australian/New Zealand informal nark
British vulgar slang pain in the arse
2Inflammation or other discomfort in a body part caused by reaction to an irritant substance: some chemicals cause a direct irritation to the skin leading to dermatitis
More example sentences
  • Metaplastic changes are common lesions and occur in reaction to foreign substances or chronic irritation.
  • Endoscopy allows doctors to check for irritation, ulcers, inflammation and abnormal tissue growth in the internal organs.
  • Mosquito bites cause severe skin irritation through an allergic reaction to the insects' saliva.
2.1 Biology The stimulation of an organism, cell, or organ to produce an active response.
Example sentences
  • It has been shown that the mouse model has a predictive value for human responses to sensory irritation.
  • Initially, cellular growth increases markedly in an effort to regenerate tissue in response to irritation.


Late Middle English: from Latin irritatio(n-), from the verb irritare (see irritate).

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Line breaks: ir¦ri|ta¦tion

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