9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[urk] /ɜrk/
verb (used with object)
to irritate, annoy, or exasperate:
It irked him to wait in line.
Origin of irk
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for irked
  • Some neighborhoods worry about abandoned cars, others get irked by empty lots.
  • Anyway, exporters often say that they are irked as much by the instability of the pound against the euro as by its level.
  • The over-exuberance of some marketers has also irked regulators.
  • Apple's lack of transparency seemed to be what irked developers most.
  • She irked some students because she did not give out detailed study guides for tests.
  • Tells how he became obsessed with gang life and was irked that he was not seen as a gangster.
  • Seeing him take the commercial shekel clearly irked them.
  • Indeed, many boffins are irked by how hale and hearty the venerable model is proving.
  • But it was his scientific principles that really irked the conservation community.
  • irked, he climbed a tree and dropped into the driveway.
British Dictionary definitions for irked


(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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for irked



mid-15c., irken "be weary of, be disgusted with;" earlier intransitive, "to feel weary" (early 14c.). Of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Old Norse yrkja "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to work;" see urge (v.)), or Middle High German 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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