An example of to irk is for a mosquito to buzz in your ear in an irritating way.
An example of to irk is for someone’s personality to bother you.
Origin of irk
- Middle English irken to weary possibly from Old Norse yrkja to work, make verses, harangue werg- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English irken (“to tire, grow weary”), from Old Norse yrkja (“to work”), from Proto-Germanic *wurkijaną (“to work”), from Proto-Indo-European *werǵ- (“to work”). Cognate with Icelandic yrkja (“to compose”), Swedish yrka (“to urge, argue”), Old English wyrcan, wyrċean (“to work”). More at work.