Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary


One entry found for irritate.
Main Entry: ir·ri·tate
Pronunciation: 'ir-&-"tAt
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -tat·ed; -tat·ing
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
- ir·ri·tat·ing·ly /-"tA-ti[ng]-lE/ 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>.