verb (-tated; -tating) Etymology: Latin irritatus, past participle of irritare Date: 1598 transitive verb 1. to provoke impatience, anger, or displeasure in ; annoy 2. to induce irritability in or of intransitive verb to cause or induce displeasure or irritation • irritatingly adverb Synonyms: irritate, exasperate, nettle, provoke, rile, peeve mean to excite a feeling of anger or annoyance. irritate implies an often gradual arousing of angry feelings that may range from mere impatience to rage <
constant nagging that irritated me greatly
. exasperate suggests galling annoyance and the arousing of extreme impatience <
his exasperating habit of putting off needed decisions
. nettle suggests a sharp but passing annoyance or stinging <
your pompous attitude nettled several people
. provoke implies an arousing of strong annoyance that may excite to action <
remarks made solely to provoke her
. rile implies inducing an angry or resentful agitation <
the new work schedules riled the employees
. peeve suggests arousing fretful often petty or querulous irritation <
a toddler peeved at being refused a cookie

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Irritate — Ir ri*tate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Irritated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Irritating}.] [L. irritatus, p. p. of irritare. Of doubtful origin.] [1913 Webster] 1. To increase the action or violence of; to heighten excitement in; to intensify; to stimulate.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • irritate — [ir′i tāt΄] vt. irritated, irritating [< L irritatus, pp. of irritare, to excite, stimulate, irritate < ir , in + IE base * erei , to excite, agitate > ROAM] 1. to excite to anger; provoke; annoy; exasperate 2. to cause (an organ or part …   English World dictionary

  • irritate — [v1] upset, anger abrade, affront, aggravate, annoy, bother, bug*, burn*, chafe, confuse, distemper, disturb, drive up the wall*, enrage, exasperate, fret, gall, get, get on nerves*, get under skin*, grate, harass, incense, inflame, infuriate,… …   New thesaurus

  • Irritate — Ir ri*tate, a. Excited; heightened. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Irritate — Ir ri*tate, v. t. [See 1 st {Irritant}.] To render null and void. [R.] Abp. Bramhall. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • irritate — I verb affront, aggravate, agitate, anger, annoy, badger, bother, bully, chafe, discompose, displease, disturb, enrage, exacerbate, exasperate, excite anger, excite impatience, fret, gall, give offense, grate, harass, hector, incense, inflame,… …   Law dictionary

  • irritate — (v.) 1530s, stimulate to action, rouse, incite, from L. irritatus, pp. of irritare excite, provoke. An earlier verb form was irrite (mid 15c.), from O.Fr. irriter. Meaning annoy, make impatient is from 1590s. Related: Irritated; irritating …   Etymology dictionary

  • irritate — irritate, exasperate, nettle, provoke, aggravate, rile, peeve are comparable when meaning to excite a feeling of angry annoyance in a person. Something which irritates greatly displeases or offends and evokes a display of feeling ranging from… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • irritate — ► VERB 1) make annoyed or angry. 2) cause inflammation in (a part of the body). DERIVATIVES irritating adjective irritation noun. ORIGIN Latin irritare …   English terms dictionary

  • irritate — irritator, n. /ir i tayt /, v., irritated, irritating. v.t. 1. to excite to impatience or anger; annoy. 2. Physiol., Biol. to excite (a living system) to some characteristic action or function. 3. Pathol. to bring (a body part) to an abnormally… …   Universalium

  • irritate */ — UK [ˈɪrɪteɪt] / US [ˈɪrɪˌteɪt] verb [transitive] Word forms irritate : present tense I/you/we/they irritate he/she/it irritates present participle irritating past tense irritated past participle irritated 1) to make someone feel annoyed or… …   English dictionary

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