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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not so much lack of money, the need to earn, as the monotony of idleness that irked her.

    North of Fifty-Three Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • He had been bested at his own game, duplicity, and that irked him.

    The Carpet from Bagdad Harold MacGrath
  • irked by his failure to start a spirited debate, Ross picked up the paddle upon which Red had been working.

  • And the townsmen of Calatayúd, know well, it irked them sore.

    The Lay of the Cid R. Selden Rose
  • I think she bucklered herself with the secret philosophy of her strong mind, and resolved to forget what it irked her to remember.

    The Secret of Charlotte Bront Frederika Macdonald
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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