• WordNet 3.6
    • v irritate excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame "Aspirin irritates my stomach"
    • v irritate excite to some characteristic action or condition, such as motion, contraction, or nervous impulse, by the application of a stimulus "irritate the glands of a leaf"
    • v irritate cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me","It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cashew nuts contain oil in the shell that is very irritating to the skin
    • a Irritate Excited; heightened.
    • Irritate To excite anger or displeasure in; to provoke; to tease; to exasperate; to annoy; to vex; as, the insolence of a tyrant irritates his subjects. "Dismiss the man, nor irritate the god:
      Prevent the rage of him who reigns above."
    • Irritate To increase the action or violence of; to heighten excitement in; to intensify; to stimulate. "Cold maketh the spirits vigorous and irritateth them."
    • Irritate (Med) To make morbidly excitable, or oversensitive; to fret; as, the skin is irritated by friction; to irritate a wound by a coarse bandage.
    • Irritate (Physiol) To produce irritation in; to stimulate; to cause to contract. See Irritation n., 2.
    • v. t Irritate To render null and void.
    • ***
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.
    • irritate To excite to resentment or anger; annoy; vex; exasperate: as, to be irritated by an officious or a tedious person.
    • irritate To excite to automatic action by external agency, as organic tissue; produce motion, contraction, or inflammation in by stimulation: as, to irritate the skin by chafing or the nerves by teasing.
    • irritate To give greater force or energy to; excite.
    • irritate Synonyms Provoke, Incense, etc. (see exasperate); fret, chafe, nettle, sting, annoy, gall, inflame, excite, anger, enrage.
    • irritate Excited; exasperated; intensified.
    • irritate To render null and void.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Mosquitoes dislike citronella because it irritates their feet.
    • v.t Irritate ir′i-tāt to make angry: to provoke: to excite heat and redness in:
    • n Irritate that which causes irritation
    • v.t Irritate ir′i-tāt (Scots law) to render null and void
    • ***


  • Horace
    “The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Don't mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.”
  • 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.”
  • Don Herold
    Don Herold
    “There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. irritatus, p. p. of irritare,. Of doubtful origin
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. irritāre, -ātum, prob. freq. of irrīre, to snarl, as a dog.


In literature:

They came down next morning with tired faces and irritable tempers; the women scarcely spoke to Boule de Suif.
"Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete" by Guy de Maupassant
Resistance always excited and irritated him.
"The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete" by Duc de Saint-Simon
But you must admit that the gayety of the one is at least as irritating as the languor of the other!
"Serge Panine, Complete" by Georges Ohnet
Her friend had in the country a mother, sisters, aunts, and numerous relatives whom she did not know and who irritated her.
"The Red Lily, Complete" by Anatole France
This was so unnatural that you may believe it first disgusted, and then irritated me.
"Monsieur de Camors, Complete" by Octave Feuillet
What would you do if, in case you imprudently irritated him, he should change his mind?
"The Honor of the Name" by Emile Gaboriau
He hung silent in irritation.
"Women in Love" by D. H. Lawrence
The professor felt unduly irritated.
"The Window-Gazer" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
After a while I began to grow irritated.
"The Red Planet" by William J. Locke
Still their neigh can be very irritating.
"Ulysses" by James Joyce

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
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

In news:

In a small study of Finnish women who had recently entered menopause, those who stuck to an aerobic exercise program for six months were less likely to report night sweats, mood swings and irritability than women who didn't exercise.
After giving several talks on his new book, Ray March is irritated with the inevitable audience question about solutions.
A Synthetic Tissue-based In vitro Ocular Irritation Assay .
A-Rod irritated the other players because he was so high-maintenance.
Understand bird body language so that you know when they are irritated with each other.
This irritates Vincent and Steph.
An object or source of dread: also, a continuing source of irritation.
Scented Candles, Air Fresheners Can Be Irritating.
Last night I was irritated by some dogs down the street who didn't seem to want to stop barking.
Softee jingle is an irritant .
Cold temperatures may irritate allergies.
Questions on joblessness irritate Scott.
How To Irritate Kobe Bryant (It's Not That Hard).
BBC Trustee Anthony Fry tells a parliamentary committee he was irritated by the large sum of money paid to George Entwistle who resigned after just 54 days in office.
Here's what can happen after prolonged lack of sleep: heart disease, hypertension, slower reaction times, slurred speech, depression, tremors and irritability.

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?