- The definition of irritate is to aggravate or annoy, or to cause itchiness, inflammation or discomfort in or on the body.
- When you annoy someone, this is an example of a time when youirritate them.
- When a sweater causes you to itch and causes your skin to become red, this is an example of when your sweaterirritates the skin.
Mom is irritating her son.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to excite to anger; provoke; annoy; exasperate
- to cause (an organ or part of the body) to be inflamed or sore
- Physiol. to excite (an organ, muscle, etc.) to a characteristic action or function by a stimulus
Origin: from Classical Latin irritatus, past participle of irritare, to excite, stimulate, irritate from ir-, in- plush Indo-European base an unverified form erei-, to excite, agitate from source roam
- irritatingly adverb
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb ir·ri·tat·ed, ir·ri·tat·ing, ir·ri·tates verb, transitive
- To rouse to impatience or anger; annoy: a loud bossy voice that irritates listeners. See Synonyms at annoy.
- To chafe or inflame.
- Physiology To cause physiological activity or response in (an organ or tissue), as by application of a stimulus.
Origin: Latin irrītāre, irrītāt-.
- irˈri·tatˌing·ly adverb
- irˈri·taˌtor noun