Definitions

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

  • adj. Easily irritated or annoyed.
  • adj. Pathology Abnormally sensitive to a stimulus.
  • adj. Physiology Capable of responding to stimuli.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Capable of being irritated.
  • adj. Easily exasperated or excited.
  • adj. Responsive to stimuli.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being irritated.
  • adj. Very susceptible of anger or passion; easily inflamed or exasperated.
  • adj. Endowed with irritability; susceptible of irritation; capable of being excited to action by the application of certain stimuli.
  • adj. Susceptible of irritation; unduly sensitive to irritants or stimuli. See Irritation, n., 3.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Susceptible to mental irritation; liable to the excitement of anger or passion; irascible; petulant.
  • Susceptible to physical irritation; capable of being stimulated to action by external agency; liable to contract, shrink, become inflamed, etc., when excited or stimulated: as, irritable nerves; an irritable wound.
  • Specifically, in physiology and botany, possessing the property of irritability.
  • Responding quickly to a stimulus; sensitive; impressible.
  • Synonyms Passionate, etc. (see irascible); fretful, peevish.

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

  • adj. capable of responding to stimuli
  • adj. easily irritated or annoyed
  • adj. abnormally sensitive to a stimulus

Etymologies

French irritable, from Latin irrītābilis, from irrītāre, to irritate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
irritate +‎ -able (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Anne Crank: Diary of a Young Girl - increasingly irritable from the combination of cabin fever and puberty, Anne begins to write bitter rants against those who share the attic with her.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • Yet people are quick to label irritable or angry people as “bad children” or “bad people.”

    Black Pain

  • It buzzed in short, irritable circles before settling back to its feeding spot.

    Dragonfly in Amber

  • The song had ceased from his lips; but Mary was irritable from a burnt hand and a grandchild whose stomach refused to digest properly diluted cows 'milk.

    Like Argus of the Ancient Times

  • French teacher, loving children, wanting in dignity, broken in English, irritable in disposition; a sensitive young stranger, fresh from home, charming in innocence, sad with thoughts of a dear mother; a poor, frightened kitten, are all objects for boys 'cruelty to gloat over.

    Captain Mugford Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors

  • In popular use, the term dyspeptic still refers to an irritable and fragile psychological state.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • In children and adolescents, this may be characterized as an irritable mood.

    The UltraMind Solution

  • Our Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs project took a close look at which drugs work best, whether you have constipation on its own or as part of a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    Best bet for long-term constipation is an over-the-counter drug

  • Our Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs project took a close look at which drugs work best, whether you have constipation on its own or as part of a condition called irritable bowel syndrome IBS.

    Best bet for long-term constipation is an over-the-counter drug

  • And she's now developed a condition, sometimes called irritable bladder syndrome.

    CNN Transcript Oct 25, 2005

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