Definition of irritation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌirəˈtāSH(ə)n/


1The state of feeling annoyed, impatient, or angry.
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.
1.1A cause of this: 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, annoyance, thorn in someone's side/flesh, bother, trial, torment, plague, inconvenience, nuisance, aggravation, pain (in the neck), headache, burr under someone's saddle
1.2The production of inflammation or other discomfort in a bodily part or organ.
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.
1.3 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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ir·ri·ta·tion

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