Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To rouse to impatience or anger; annoy: a loud bossy voice that irritates listeners. See Synonyms at annoy.
  • transitive v. To chafe or inflame.
  • transitive v. Physiology To cause physiological activity or response in (an organ or tissue), as by application of a stimulus.
  • intransitive v. To be a cause of impatience or anger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To provoke impatience, anger, or displeasure.
  • v. To introduce irritability.
  • v. To cause or induce displeasure or irritation.
  • v. To induce pain in (all or part of a body or organism).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Excited; heightened.
  • transitive v. To render null and void.
  • transitive v. To increase the action or violence of; to heighten excitement in; to intensify; to stimulate.
  • transitive v. To excite anger or displeasure in; to provoke; to tease; to exasperate; to annoy; to vex.
  • transitive v. To produce irritation in; to stimulate; to cause to contract. See Irritation, n., 2.
  • transitive v. To make morbidly excitable, or oversensitive; to fret

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To excite to resentment or anger; annoy; vex; exasperate: as, to be irritated by an officious or a tedious person.
  • To excite to automatic action by external agency, as organic tissue; produce motion, contraction, or inflammation in by stimulation: as, to irritate the skin by chafing or the nerves by teasing.
  • To give greater force or energy to; excite.
  • Synonyms Provoke, Incense, etc. (see exasperate); fret, chafe, nettle, sting, annoy, gall, inflame, excite, anger, enrage.
  • Excited; exasperated; intensified.
  • To render null and void.

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

  • v. excite to some characteristic action or condition, such as motion, contraction, or nervous impulse, by the application of a stimulus
  • v. excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame
  • v. cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations

Etymologies

Latin irrītāre, irrītāt-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin irritatus, past participle of irritare ("to excite, irritate, incite, stimulate") (Wiktionary)

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