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[uh-noi] /əˈnɔɪ/
verb (used with object)
to disturb or bother (a person) in a way that displeases, troubles, or slightly irritates.
to molest; harm.
verb (used without object)
to be bothersome or troublesome.
Archaic. an annoyance.
Origin of annoy
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English an(n)oien, enoien < Anglo-French, Old French anoier, anuier to molest, harm, tire < Late Latin inodiāre to cause aversion, from Latin phrase mihi in odiō est … I dislike …; cf. in-2, odium, ennui, noisome; (noun) Middle English a(n)noi, ennoi < Anglo-French, Old French a(n)nui, etc., derivative of the v.
Related forms
annoyer, noun
half-annoyed, adjective
unannoyed, adjective
Can be confused
aggravate, annoy, intensify, irritate, worsen (see synonym study at aggravate)
1. harass, pester. See bother, worry.
1. comfort, calm, soothe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for annoy
  • Big things, little things, all kinds of things annoy you.
  • If you can manage to have the dean's actions annoy as many people on campus as possible, then you have some leverage for change.
  • The two journalists in trouble both specialise in stories that annoy important people.
  • Freeloaders annoy honey badgers, but don't cause them to go hungry.
  • Over the years practices that annoy restaurant customers have changed.
  • Don't annoy your editor or fly into a rage if something doesn't go your way.
  • Where his uppity energy once inspired the country's voters, today it seems merely to annoy.
  • There were two problems-one that could be solved then and there and another that would continue to annoy me.
  • Maybe it's stocked with people he wanted to keep busy so they wouldn't annoy him.
  • Ever since there have been radios, adolescents have turned up the volume to annoy adults.
British Dictionary definitions for annoy


to irritate or displease
to harass with repeated attacks
Derived Forms
annoyer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French anoier, from Late Latin inodiāre to make hateful, from Latin in odiō (esse) (to be) hated, from odium hatred
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for annoy

late 13c., from Anglo-French anuier, Old French enoiier, anuier "to weary, vex, anger; be troublesome or irksome to," from Late Latin inodiare "make loathsome," from Latin (esse) in odio "(it is to me) hateful," ablative of odium "hatred" (see odium). Earliest form of the word in English was as a noun, c.1200, "feeling of irritation, displeasure, distaste." Related: Annoyed; annoying; annoyingly. Middle English also had annoyful and annoyous (both late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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