Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality or state of being irritable; testiness or petulance.
  • n. Pathology Abnormal or excessive sensitivity of a body organ or part to a stimulus.
  • n. Physiology The capacity to respond to stimuli.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or quality of being irritable; quick excitability; petulance; fretfulness; as, irritability of temper.
  • n. A natural susceptibility, characteristic of all living organisms, tissues, and cells, to the influence of certain stimuli, response being manifested in a variety of ways.
  • n. A condition of morbid excitability of an organ or part of the body; undue susceptibility to the influence of stimuli.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state or quality of being irritable; quick excitability; petulance; fretfulness.
  • n. A natural susceptibility, characteristic of all living organisms, tissues, and cells, to the influence of certain stimuli, response being manifested in a variety of ways, -- as that quality in plants by which they exhibit motion under suitable stimulation; esp., the property which living muscle possesses, of responding either to a direct stimulus of its substance, or to the stimulating influence of its nerve fibers, the response being indicated by a change of form, or contraction; contractility.
  • n. A condition of morbid excitability of an organ or part of the body; undue susceptibility to the influence of stimuli. See Irritation, n., 3.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being irritable; an irritable state or condition of the mind; proneness to mental irritation; irascibility; petulance: as, irritability of temper.
  • n. In physiology, the property of nerve, muscle, or other active tissue of reacting upon stimuli; in muscles, specifically, the property of contracting when stimulated.
  • n. In botany, that endowment of a vegetable organism by virtue of which a motion takes place in it in response to an external stimulus.
  • n. In pathology, morbid responsiveness to stimuli.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an irritable petulant feeling
  • n. excessive sensitivity of an organ or body part
  • n. a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger

Etymologies

From Latin irritabilitas. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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