• WordNet 3.6
    • adj irritating causing irritation or annoyance "tapping an annoying rhythm on his glass with his fork","aircraft noise is particularly bothersome near the airport","found it galling to have to ask permission","an irritating delay","nettlesome paperwork","a pesky mosquito","swarms of pestering gnats","a plaguey newfangled safety catch","a teasing and persistent thought annoyed him","a vexatious child","it is vexing to have to admit you are wrong"
    • adj irritating causing physical discomfort; they can be very painful" "bites of black flies are more than irritating"
    • adj irritating (used of physical stimuli) serving to stimulate or excite "an irritative agent"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Cashew nuts contain oil in the shell that is very irritating to the skin
    • irritating Causing irritation; vexing; provoking; exasperating.
    • ***


  • Pennsylvania Dutch Proverb
    Pennsylvania Dutch Proverb
    “Our faults irritate us most when we see them in others.”
  • W. H. Auden
    “Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates.”
  • Carl Jung
    “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
  • Edward Hoagland
    “There aren't many irritations to match the condescension which a woman metes out to a man who she believes has loved her vainly for the past umpteen years.”
  • Don Herold
    Don Herold
    “There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.”


In literature:

Bayne was surprised at that; but he was a man who always allayed irritation on the spot.
"Put Yourself in His Place" by Charles Reade
I was so foolish as to be irritated at Philip's manner, when he was giving me some good advice, and I am very sorry.
"The Heir of Redclyffe" by Charlotte M. Yonge
A multitude was swarming along the quays like irritated ants.
"The Memoirs of Victor Hugo" by Victor Hugo
He was like an old and irritable man, annoyed by the turbulence of their young spirits that was to him arrant silliness.
"When God Laughs and Other Stories" by Jack London
But soon these new pleasant sensations passed into morbid irritability.
"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The profound, subdued aversion which he felt in his wife was a mystery to him, and a source of the most terrible irritation.
"The Forsyte Saga, Volume I." by John Galsworthy
I can endure the irritation of it no longer.
"Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete" by Albert Bigelow Paine
The irritation of the previous evening had passed away.
"A Spirit in Prison" by Robert Hichens
Cytherea felt a burning heat come over her, mingled with a sudden irritation at Mrs. Morris's hint.
"Desperate Remedies" by Thomas Hardy
I smothered my irritation, and answered as pleasantly as I could.
"Andersonville, complete" by John McElroy

In poetry:

It only irritated Brahms
To tickle him under the arms.
What really helped him to compose
Was to be stroked on the nose.
"Clerihew – Brahms" by Edmund Clerihew Bentley
"Be off!" said irritated BOB.
"Why come you here to bother one?
You pharisaical old snob,
You're wuss almost than t'other one!
"Bob Polter" by William Schwenck Gilbert
The law still irritates my sin,
And hardens my proud heart therein:
But grace's melting pow'r renews,
And my corruption strong subdues.
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. II." by Ralph Erskine
Let thine own blood assuage the vengeful ire
Of thy too-justly irritated Sire —
Let thine own blood his furious wrath appease,
That all the sorrows of my soul may cease!
"An Earnest Prayer For Pardon Of Sins" by Rees Prichard
The bars that hinder his advance
And half obscure the goal,
The stubborn bond of circumstance
That irritates his soul,
The countershafts of arrogance,
All yield to her control.
"Woman's Help" by Hattie Howard
Then GILBERT, who was irritable, rose and loudly swore
He'd know the reason why if she refused to tell him more;
And she answered (all the woman in her flashing from her eyes)
"You mustn't ask no questions, and you won't be told no lies!
"Annie Protheroe. A Legend of Stratford-le-Bow" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

As Sean Burnett rests with nerve irritation in elbow, Christian Garcia could play a role.
Sean Burnett dealing with irritation in his left elbow, will rest for a couple days.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hospitalized as a result of stomach and throat ' irritation .
A physician on curing us of irritation with the liberal arts.
Other ingredients can irritate some people's skin.
GE Chief's Remarks Show Growing Irritation With China.
GOP Irritation At Bush Was Long Brewing.
Mancini was irritated by certain questions before and after his side's Champions League draw with Ajax and then did not attend pre- or post-match press conferences for last weekend's clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
There are all kinds of tiny little irritants that you may not exactly love.
Face flies are the most important vector in transmission of pinkeye, but ultraviolet light, wind, dust, pollen, tall grass/weeds and grass seed can also irritate eyes.
If a woman in Victorian times felt faint or depressed, agitated or anxious, if she was irritable or irrational, would not eat, or ate too much, then the source of her woe was simple: female hysteria.
Anti-irritant Tri- peptide for Soothing Care.
Doctors aren't seeing much seasonal flu in Northeast Florida, but a highly contagious, irritating eye infection is going around.
Only 1 nanogram (one billionth of a gram) of the urushiol oil irritant agent in poison ivy is needed to cause rash.
The New England Journal of Medicine found those drugs curb a patient's impulsiveness, irritability and restlessness.

In science:

Synchrotron radiation was an irritant in early electron synchrotrons and storage rings.
The world of synchrotrons
Irritating also because no convincing fault in the Nozieres idea has been found.
Developments in Correlated Fermions
A couple of minor irritants need to be quickly addressed.
Applications of duality theory to cousin complexes
But there are still some irritating results.
Summary Talk: Challenges in Particle Astrophysics
The notation chosen may irritate some readers.
What do quantum "weak" measurements actually measure?