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[urk] /ɜrk/
verb (used with object)
to irritate, annoy, or exasperate:
It irked him to wait in line.
1300-50; Middle English irken to grow tired, tire < Old Norse yrkja to work, cognate with Old English wyrcan; see work
chafe, fret, bother; tire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for irk
  • At that time, it really used to irk the old-school editors.
  • The slightest whimsical observation might irk or anger her.
  • It does irk me that some of you say he is stealing, when clearly he isn't.
  • Even when the people in them irk us, our social networks affect our quality of life.
British Dictionary definitions for irk


(transitive) to irritate, vex, or annoy
Word Origin
C13 irken to grow weary; probably related to Old Norse yrkja to work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for irk
mid-15c., irken "be weary of, be disgusted with;" earlier intrans., "to feel weary" (early 14c.). Of uncertain origin, perhaps related to O.N. yrkja "work" (from PIE base *werg- "to work;" see urge (v.)), or M.H.G. erken "to disgust." Modern sense of "annoy" is from late 15c. An adjective, irk "weary, tired" is attested from c.1300 in northern and midlands writing. Modern adjective irksome "bothersome, burdensome" is recorded from 1510s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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