• WordNet 3.6
    • adj irritable easily irritated or annoyed "an incorrigibly fractious young man","not the least nettlesome of his countrymen"
    • adj irritable capable of responding to stimuli
    • adj irritable abnormally sensitive to a stimulus
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cashew nuts contain oil in the shell that is very irritating to the skin
    • Irritable Capable of being irritated.
    • Irritable (Physiol) Endowed with irritability; susceptible of irritation; capable of being excited to action by the application of certain stimuli.
    • Irritable (Med) Susceptible of irritation; unduly sensitive to irritants or stimuli. See Irritation n., 3.
    • Irritable Very susceptible of anger or passion; easily inflamed or exasperated; as, an irritable temper. "Vicious, old, and irritable ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: More than 100 years ago, the felt hat makers of England used mercury to stabilize wool. Most of them eventually became poisoned by the fumes, as demonstrated by the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Breathing mercury's fumes over a long period of time will cause erethism, a disorder characterized by nervousness, irritability, and strange personality changes.
    • irritable Susceptible to mental irritation; liable to the excitement of anger or passion; irascible; petulant.
    • irritable Susceptible to physical irritation; capable of being stimulated to action by external agency; liable to contract, shrink, become inflamed, etc., when excited or stimulated: as, irritable nerves; an irritable wound.
    • irritable Specifically, in physiology and botany, possessing the property of irritability.
    • irritable Responding quickly to a stimulus; sensitive; impressible.
    • irritable Synonyms Passionate, etc. (see irascible); fretful, peevish.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Mosquitoes dislike citronella because it irritates their feet.
    • adj Irritable that may be irritated: easily provoked:
    • adj Irritable (med.) susceptible of excitement or irritation
    • ***


  • Horace
    “The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do.”
  • Edward M. Forster
    “I have only got down on to paper, really, three types of people: the person I think I am, the people who irritate me, and the people I'd like to be.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. irritabilis,: cf. F. irritable,. See Irritate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. irritāre, -ātum, prob. freq. of irrīre, to snarl, as a dog.


In literature:

This paragraph irritated the British statesman, who made a scene at the next meeting of the Council.
"The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference" by Emile Joseph Dillon
Old John was irritated.
"The Story of the Foss River Ranch" by Ridgwell Cullum
From this constantly acting irritation the child needs security.
"The Nervous Child" by Hector Charles Cameron
There was a nervous irritation in her look, which recoiled from her husband as from a blank and shining wall.
"The Wheel of Life" by Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow
Culhane, although tucking up his lines and stiffening his back irritably at this flaw, said nothing.
"Twelve Men" by Theodore Dreiser
It was a movement of irritation.
"The Man in the Twilight" by Ridgwell Cullum
Cooling compresses must be changed as soon as the patient indicates that he feels oppressed or irritated by the heat.
"Valere Aude" by Louis Dechmann
A return of his familiar irritability, spleen, possessed him.
"The Three Black Pennys" by Joseph Hergesheimer
He felt ridiculous and irritable.
"The Real Adventure" by Henry Kitchell Webster
For the better illustration of the phenomena of irritative fevers we must refer the reader to the circumstances of irritation explained in Sect.
"Zoonomia, Vol. I" by Erasmus Darwin

In poetry:

Ask thou not ought, as long as thou dost live,
That is repugnant to God's holy Word:
If thou shou'dst ask, what he's not pleas'd to give,
Thy prayer will but irritate the Lord.
"Concerning Prayer, And Its Proper Requisites" by Rees Prichard
Borne down so
By sullen immensities,
Two caught children we stood,
Waiting the flash, the oblique arm of the parent, Waiting for speech from the jowl
Of the irritated horizon….
"Black Laughter" by Genevieve Taggard
"Cen-TEEN-ary!" sez 'e;
An' looks fair, bang at me
All sort of snakey-eyed an' irritated.
Sez I, "Don't be absurd,
For the dictionary word
Is Cen-TEN-ary. It's much more edjacated."
"For The Defence" by C J Dennis
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (irritably):
"Jim? Oh, be d-d to him. Doors are all slammed to him -
Cohen's and Isaac's and old Ikey Mo's.
We would live decently! Up the spout recently
He has shoved everything barring our clothes.
"A Dirge of the Morning After" by C J Dennis
With all its petty pain,
Its irritating littleness and care;
They who have scaled the mountain, with content
Sublime, descend to live upon the plain;
Steadfast as though they breathed the mountain-air
Still, wheresoe'er they went.
"Heroes" by Emma Lazarus
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:

USA Today survey asked what is the most irritating sound 12% said THIS.
City gets nearly $20 million from speed camera tickets, irritating critics.
Irritable manager, meet irritating rookie.
2011 Most Irritating Food Trends.
But mostly I just like to publicly tattle about people who irritate me.
Mosquitos are pests and they can cause irritation , if you have ideas for repellent that work for you please share them below.
Red Bulls' Rodgers rips ' irritating ' American star Donovan.
Sheep often find themselves being heavily irritated by flies.
Just like the sheep, you and I have some "flies" that love to irritate us, make us feel uncomfortable, and cause us harm.
Wetting/Eye Irritation in Trisiloxane vs Dimethicone Copolyol.
Irritant response also can be concentration-driven.
Local principals express irritation over grading system.
As Sean Burnett rests with nerve irritation in elbow, Christian Garcia could play a role.
There are all kinds of tiny little irritants that you may not exactly love.
Amber Heard plays girlfriend Greta, irritating teacher of life's big lessons.

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?