• WordNet 3.6
    • n irritation the act of troubling or annoying someone
    • n irritation unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment
    • n irritation an uncomfortable feeling of mental painfulness or distress
    • n irritation a sudden outburst of anger "his temper sparked like damp firewood"
    • n irritation the neural or electrical arousal of an organ or muscle or gland
    • n irritation the psychological state of being irritated or annoyed
    • n irritation (pathology) abnormal sensitivity to stimulation "any food produced irritation of the stomach"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cashew nuts contain oil in the shell that is very irritating to the skin
    • Irritation (Med) A condition of morbid excitability or oversensitiveness of an organ or part of the body; a state in which the application of ordinary stimuli produces pain or excessive or vitiated action.
    • Irritation (Physiol) The act of exciting, or the condition of being excited to action, by stimulation; -- as, the condition of an organ of sense, when its nerve is affected by some external body; esp., the act of exciting muscle fibers to contraction, by artificial stimulation; as, the irritation of a motor nerve by electricity; also, the condition of a muscle and nerve, under such stimulation.
    • Irritation The act of irritating, or exciting, or the state of being irritated; excitement; stimulation, usually of an undue and uncomfortable kind; especially, excitement of anger or passion; provocation; annoyance; anger. "The whole body of the arts and sciences composes one vast machinery for the irritation and development of the human intellect."
    • ***
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.
    • n irritation The act of irritating, or the state of being irritated; impatient or angry excitement; provocation; exasperation.
    • n irritation Stimulation; incitement; a stirring up to activity.
    • n irritation In physiology, the act of evoking some action, or change of state, in a muscle, nerve, or other living tissue, by some chemical, physical, or pathological agent; the state or action thus evoked.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Mosquitoes dislike citronella because it irritates their feet.
    • n Irritation act of irritating or exciting: excitement:
    • n Irritation (med.) the term applied to any morbid excitement of the vital actions not amounting to inflammation, often, but not always, leading to that condition
    • ***


  • Horace
    “The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do.”
  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus
    “Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”


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


In literature:

He was irritated with himself.
"Dangerous Days" by Mary Roberts Rinehart
Anxiety weighed upon her, and she became irritable.
"New Grub Street" by George Gissing
Nevertheless, he was filled with irritating anxieties.
"Other People's Money" by Emile Gaboriau
This irritated Cowperwood, as it would always irritate any strong, acquisitive, direct-seeing temperament.
"The Financier" by Theodore Dreiser
I was more and more irritable: I sat on the edge of the berth and hoped the snorer would choke to death.
"The Man in Lower Ten" by Mary Roberts Rinehart
All his interest in the argument was at an end; all his sensitiveness to its irritating influences was gone.
"Armadale" by Wilkie Collins
Her eldest born grew irritable: none of us appreciate criticism!
"The Second Thoughts of An Idle Fellow" by Jerome K. Jerome
Edith was conscious of it, too, and one evening she broke into irritated speech.
"A Poor Wise Man" by Mary Roberts Rinehart
She seemed to be irritated by my silence.
"The Legacy of Cain" by Wilkie Collins
Camille soon recovered his senses and a portion of his strength: then the irritation of his wound brought on fever.
"White Lies" by Charles Reade

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:

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.
Most Irritating People of 2009.
Irritating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Part 3).
Have you wondered why the most irritated people in the world always call you.
From this point, the service you provide can either soothe - or increase - these feelings of panic and irritation .
The longer he waits, the more irritated he gets.
The survey reveled that irritation level is related to age, income and education.
But only 34 percent of those aged 18-24 and 40 percent of those 25-34, expressed this degree of irritation .
63 percent of those 65 and over and 58 percent of those aged 55-64, said junk mail irritates them a lot.
A recent survey from USA Today asked the question – What is the most irritating sound you can think of.
Top 11 Ways to Irritate Your Co-workers.
Blisters and chafing are caused by rubbing and friction, so apply a product like Gold Bond Friction Defense to areas of the foot that feel friction before irritation as prevention.
You can also use this on irritated and burning feet to treat and soothe skin.

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?